Hugh Grant has admitted in a rare newspaper interview that he didn't attend the birth of his daughter because of the press attention it would - and eventually did - draw to the child's mother, Tinglan Hong.
He visited the hospital the following day, but was branded arrogant and a bad father by various media outlets for showing up late. He says that had he not shown up at all, the media wouldn't have batted an eyelid at Hong whatsoever.
He told The Guardian: "I was at one of the party conferences, about to give a speech, and was pacing about on the end of the phone. I shouldn't have gone to the hospital at all, because it brought all this attention down on the mother's head. But I couldn't really resist it, so I went on the second day."
He obtained an injunction that now allows him to visit Hong and his child in peace. "Had we not got the injunction, I'm sure she'd be in China by now," he said. "She is a good person, a nice person; funny, clever, great mother. And she's been very badly treated by the media."
Grant's new film The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists is released soon, and he is full of admiration for makers Aardman, but acknowledges that he was not the first choice for the role.
"With cartoons they make a rough drawing and then they get their favourite local actors to do the voices," he explained. "They then take it to the studio and say we want to make it, and the studio says fine, but you can't use the actors you've been using, you have to use 'names'.
"And so then poor old Peter Lord, the director, has to come to me and say, 'Will you do the voice?' And I said to him, 'I know you don't want me, you'd much rather use the guy you've been using for the first two years.' And he pretended for a bit, 'No, no, that's not true!' But in the end I got it out of him, 'Well, yes, yes, you are really revoicing someone we love.'"