Friday 26 December 2014

Drugs sting reporter told Tulisa he'd put her in a film with DiCaprio, court hears

Tom Brooks-Pollock London

Published 17/07/2014 | 02:30

Singer Tulisa Contostavlos arrives at Southwark Crown Court
Singer Tulisa Contostavlos arrives at Southwark Crown Court

A pop star helped supply cocaine to an undercover reporter posing as a film producer who said he wanted her to star in a film alongside Leonardo DiCaprio, a court heard yesterday.

Tulisa Contostavlos, a former judge on television's 'The X Factor', was told she would be "more suitable" for the role than established Hollywood actresses such as Keira Knightley or Kate Winslet, Southwark Crown Court heard.

A jury was told how Ms Contostavlos (26) was targeted in a sting operation by Mazher Mahmood, the undercover reporter, who posed as a "big-shot" film producer named Samir Khan.

Over the course of several meetings at five-star hotels in Las Vegas and London, he discussed casting her alongside DiCaprio and, during taped conversations and telephone calls, the subject of drugs came up, the court heard.

Opening the case against Ms Contostavlos, Timothy Cray, prosecuting, said the discussions led to a drug deal in which Mr Mahmood was sold half an ounce of cocaine, worth £800 (€1,010), by Michael Coombs, a friend of Ms Contostavlos, at the Dorchester Hotel in the early hours of May 23 last year. Coombs, a rapper known as Mike GLC, has pleaded guilty to supplying cocaine. Ms Contostavlos denies being concerned in the supply of cocaine.

The jury was played recordings of calls and meetings at the Venetian Hotel, Las Vegas, on March 28 and at the Metropolitan Hotel, London, on May 10 during which Ms Contostavlos was heard referring to "white sweets" – said to be code for cocaine – and to herself as a "drug dealer's wife".

Mr Cray said: "She thought [Mr Mahmood] could get her a part in a big movie that was coming up and it seems she was keen to be in his good books."

Ms Contostavlos was told the role was "more suitable" for her than Knightley or Winslet because of her difficult upbringing, which suited the film's storyline, Mr Cray said. He added: "The defendant said she used cannabis to help get to sleep . . . and that she had connections to drug dealers . . . and that back in her young days she had been part of a gang that sold crack cocaine."

Contact

On May 22, Ms Contostavlos sent Mr Mahmood a text containing Coombs's number and told him that the rapper could "sort you out". She was also in contact with Coombs, telling him to expect Mr Mahmood's call, the court heard.

Ms Contostavlos later claimed she had been talking in an "exaggerated manner" to try to demonstrate her suitability for the film role.

Mr Cray told the jury: "Was she arranging a drugs supply? She says she isn't. We say that there's a lot of evidence to show that that's exactly what happened."

The case continues. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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