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British tabloid promises prostitute's tale of arrest with Grant

(ran S edition of tampa bay AND state)

Disgraced film star Hugh Grant faced more embarrassment Saturday when a British tabloid newspaper announced it had bought the story of the Hollywood prostitute arrested with him on sex charges.

The 34-year-old actor, who trades on his boyish charm and English good manners, had been spending a second day trying to patch up his relationship with actress-model girlfriend Elizabeth Hurley, 29, in a country retreat.

But a few hours after the top-selling News of the World said it would run prostitute Divine Brown's story today, Hurley walked out of the house and was sped off in a Mercedes, followed by another car packed with luggage. Her destination was unknown.

One of the most glamorous couples in show business, she and the Four Weddings and a Funeral star Grant had been besieged at the house by hordes of photographers.

The pair have made no statement about their future since Grant returned to Britain on Friday after being charged with lewd conduct in Los Angeles.

Saturday newspapers showed them sharing a light lunch in the garden but sitting apart and apparently not speaking.

The News of the World said it planned a front-page article under the headline "Hugh's hooker; My Story."

A spokesman claimed Brown had provided "a full and detailed account" of the alleged incident. The News of the World declined to discuss financial details, but other media reported it had paid about $160,000 for the exclusive.

Grant's friends blamed what the actor has termed an act of insanity on overwork and exhaustion.

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