What goes around comes around; Tulisa’s joy as ‘Fake Sheikh’ Mazher Mahmood is found guilty of perverting the course of justice over false drug trial, leading to second look at Leveson.
Reporter: Chrys Salter | Sub- Editor: Raynor Fry
We all heard the stories, read the headlines and saw the former ‘X Factor’ judge Tulisa Contostavlos hang her head in shame over reports she was arrested on suspicion of supplying cocaine, reports which came just months after her ex-lover released a graphic and humiliating sex tape of the 28 year old online. Another celebrity train wreck? It sure seemed that way, until that is the BBC3 documentary ‘Tulisa: The Price of Fame’ was shown on TV, revealing to the nation that the scandalous story of the ‘N-Dubz singer-gone-bad’ was not as honest as you might think.
“They’re killing me. They have ruined me. My life is ruined. It’s over.” ‘Tulisa: the Price of Fame’ started in a much darker, more sinister manner than you might think for a ‘instamentary’ about an almost convicted ex-popstar, with former ‘X Factor’ judge Tulisa Contostavlos crying hysterically on her mansion’s floor surrounded by vodka bottles, making references to suicide.
Enlisted as the youngest ‘X Factor’ judge in TV history, Tulisa joined the ITV show in 2011 following a successful career in the R&B group N-Dubz, of which she happily shared the spotlight with her cousin Dappy. Speaking to reporters from The Sun newspaper at the London talent show premiere in May 2011, Tulisa described herself as ‘gobby, outspoken and honest”, and grinned nervously when she was quizzed whether or not she hoped to become the nation’s new golden girl, as she was replacing Cheryl Cole on the judging panel who had enjoyed a significantly boosted ‘A-List’ profile following her three-year stint on the show.
After a relatively successful first season, with improved viewing figures and becoming the winning judge with the now internationally successful girl group ‘Little Mix’, Tulisa returned the following year for a second season. It was just after her second season on ‘The X Factor’ concluded that the news broke; Tulisa had been caught trying to sell drugs.
However, as it has been revealed, this sting operation, led by Mazher Mahmood from The Sun on Sunday, was just that; a conspired and calculated perversion of the course of justice, leading to the trial being thrown out of court based on incomprehensible evidence obtained through entrapment. Undercover journalist Mahmood, known as the ‘Fake Sheikh’, has been found guilty of conspiring to pervert the course of justice.
The reporter, 53, was found to have altered evidence in the case of Tulisa. His driver, Alan Smith, 67, was also found guilty of the same charge following a trial at the Old Bailey last week. Lawyers say almost 20 other people targeted by Mahmood and his ‘undercover’ tactics are now planning to bring civil claims against him, which could total £800m in charges.
Sun reporter Mazher Mahmood charged with conspiracy to pervert course of justice http://t.co/AxuQRfhHDI
— The Guardian (@guardian) September 29, 2015
Talking to Panorama in 2014, Mazher Mahmood described the way he operated as “acceptable and necessary”, and said that he was “proud of his achievements through undercover journalism”. In an updated version of Tulisa’s career saving documentary shown on BBC 3 online, she expressed her “absolute joy” that Mahmood is set to face justice.
Talking to her mother on the updated show, Tulisa said “To think he is now facing the same amount of jail time as I was, 15 months, for something he actually did where as I was innocent, makes me really happy. What goes around comes around” – BBC 3 ‘Tulisa: The Price of Fame’’ Tulisa has been cleared of all chargers and is hoping to release new music within the coming year, having achieved a number one single with her song ‘Young’ during her first year as a judge on Simon Cowell’s ‘The X Factor’.
Mahmood’s involvement with the tampering of evidence in Tulisa’s drugs trial has led to further investigations of previously convicted people set up by him, leading to calls for the revival of an inquiry into the relationship between police and the press; Leveson part 2. Hacked Off, a campaign group set up in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal, said Mahmood’s conviction for the tampering of evidence showed that the need for a second part of the Leveson enquiry was “overwhelmingly clear”, in a statement posted on their website.
Mazher Mahmood’s sentence may be extended if he is found guilty of perverting the course of justice in earlier trials which are now set to be put under the microscope for a second time. As for Tulisa, well, good on you girl! You can watch the new version of ‘Tulisa- The Price of Fame’ here –
Tulisa – The Price of Fame – BBC Iplayer (Click here)
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