Hugh Grant grabs woman's phone in Rome 'thinking she's paparazzi', turns out she's a municipal worker doing her job
'Love Actually' star Hugh Grant, 58, was in Rome holidaying with his wife Anna Eberstein, 39, when he happened to get into a row with a woman who he apparently mistook for a member of the press.
In the incident that happened recently, an angry Grant pushed the woman's phone out of her hand and can be heard saying, "Don't put your foot out in front of my wife", before putting his hand in the way of the camera.
The actor has now denied that he mistook the woman, the head of a municipal waste company AMA in Rome, as paparazzi trying to get pictures of him and his wife during their holiday in Rome. He tweeted in his defense saying, "sigh. Never remotely thought this person was a pap. Or trying to film me or wife. Paps don’t have cell phones. And phone was not pointing at us. But she did stick her foot out very rudely in front of my wife who was passing in front of the camera.I objected," he said.
Luisa Melara, the woman who was allegedly using her phone's camera, says she was trying to get a restaurateur illegally dumping waste from the business in an area meant for household waste on film. The first few seconds of the video show it but then it appears that Melara had blocked Eberstein's way. "Sorry? What were you doing? That's nice. Stupid c****," a female voice can be heard saying in the video, which is believed to be Eberstein's.
Melara was not aware that Grant or his wife were famous as she did not recognize him. She had put her foot in the way to let them know that she was filming and not to cross her camera's vision. Speaking to The Sun, she said, ''I was simply trying to keep them out of the video I was filming. I didn't recognize him as Hugh Grant at first but then I did. He was very impolite and I told him so. There was no need for him to react as he did. I was trying to film the restaurant worker illegally putting rubbish out when they came into view. I put my foot out to warn her that I was filming and that I wanted her to stay out of shot. That's when they reacted and Hugh snatched my phone out of my hand.
''I immediately snatched it back and he said I was very impolite and I said no you are very impolite. I tried to explain what we were doing but I don't think he grasped what we were doing," she said.