December 14th, 2009
01:42 PM ET

Hugh Grant ties one on and scores a mint

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Most folks lose their phones or send unfortunate text messages when they’re drunk. Hugh Grant  made a profit of $18 million.

The star of “Did You Hear About the Morgans?” was lauded as an art connoisseur in 2001 when he bought an Andy Warhol portrait of Elizabeth Taylor for $3 million. His timing was thought to be impeccable six years later when he sold it for $21 million in 2007.

But it was less of an eye for art and more of a love of drink that led to the sale. Grant recently admitted he had been on a two-day bender when he ordered an assistant to bid on the painting at a Sotheby’s auction in New York.

Grant’s faithful assistant indulged his boozy whim. “To my horror, she did, and even worse, got it,” Grant recently admitted in an interview while doing press for his new romantic comedy with Sarah Jessica Parker.

“It all began with drink. I'd been having a drunken dinner with my father the night before, and I said, 'We ought to go see my brother Jamie. You know, the Concorde's amazing.' And he said, 'I hear it is.' So I bought him a Concorde ticket and we went. We had lunch, drank a lot of beer. And I was thinking about some stuff in the Sotheby's auction and I saw the Liz Taylor.”

Grant also said that even though the sale of the painting bolstered his bank account, he wished he had hung onto it. "I slightly regret selling it now, even though it made me rich," the actor said in an interview posted on the UK's Daily Mail website.

The pop art painting was one of several portraits Warhol created at the height of his fame and creative output in the 1960s.

soundoff (71 Responses)
  1. MIke

    ....oh wow....another rich braggert...way to go CNN...thanks for humbling and isolating the masses even further.

    December 14, 2009 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Matt @ OU

    Not to be fresh, but how do people struggling to put food on the table afford to pay the DSL/internet bill?

    And Grant... that lucky dog.

    December 14, 2009 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  3. a

    I think it is great he took his father with him. Good on him. I am jealous, jealous I wasn't with him.

    And he actually does give lots to charities- he just doesn't publicise it.

    December 14, 2009 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Boston Guy

    Ah, thanks to the few who cleared up my question. Anyway, good for him. Maybe I should get drunk before I go by my lottery ticket tonight for the Mega Millions. Maybe that's why I haven't won yet!!

    December 14, 2009 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  5. LBW

    It's called a charmed life. You bend over and another gold nugget falls out of your ...

    December 14, 2009 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mike Shumann

    Ahhh Hugh, couldn't you have made $18 million with less effort and less risk by once again playing your usual role of bemused Englishman?

    December 14, 2009 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Keenan

    If you're thinking of giving it to charity,
    their administration will take more than half.
    For God's sake, reconsider-.......start your own charity!

    December 14, 2009 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jose

    Amen, Alex, Amen! Those two in a movie could be used by the CIA as torture methods!!

    December 14, 2009 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Keenan

    I always thought Hugh was genius. Now I know.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  10. J

    Isn't anger directed at some actor because he made some money really a waste of time, and anger? It's just a sorta humorous story, why people get so emotionally involved in the lives of celebrities I'll never know!

    December 14, 2009 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Melora, Longwood, Florida


    December 14, 2009 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Tom

    Why all the anamous for Hugh? And who cares if he's been with hookers?

    December 14, 2009 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  13. james milbery

    I think that the fact that so many people have opinions about "celebrities" activities is a sad commentary on the state of American society.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  14. J12120

    And we are hearing this about Hugh Grant why?

    Is it to illustrate that some freaky tin pan artist can get $3 million for basic paintings that take little talent? Or are we supposed to be wowed by the fact that six years later some other moron with way too much money and not enough sense pays $21 million for the same piece of paper? Or is it that we should find Hugh's drunken exploits amusing and funny, or be impressed by a cross Atlantic binge made possible by the Concorde and the rest of us morons for having paid to see Hugh's movies?

    I didn't think much of Hugh before, and think even less of him now. Good PR this is not.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Gregory Hamilton

    Hugh Grant is evidence supporting the case of atheists. If this talentless waste can be a successful millionaire then I can understand why some don't believe in a higher power. But then again this does prove the point that the Devil exists. And if the Devil exists that proves God does. But this joker obviously sold his soul in another life. Lets see babies starving in Africa, Genocides taking place and then a hooker chasing, horrible actor gets richer during a reccession. Who said life isn't fair?

    December 14, 2009 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Georgiana

    I love you Hugh Grant – you hottie!

    December 14, 2009 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Bob

    Isn't it amazing the luck some people have? Some people are truly born with a lucky horse shoe up their bum. As painful as that sounds, I'd be willing to endure it for his kind of luck.

    I also agree totally with John, that painting didn't make him rich, just richer. The people seeing his movies made him rich, the good old "Entourage" lifestyle.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Kopp

    Hugh, man, just give it to charity. If you've got to get drunk to do it, then by all means, go ahead.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Art Surette

    What was he doing drinking for two days straight anyway? Won't taxes eat the profit alive? Even in the US under Bush Administration the tax is through the roof.

    What is his cut? 40% to 35% after the Government takes its "fair" share to help those who cannot work for what ever reason.

    He should have kept the painting.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Carlito Brigante

    Why does Sarah Jessica Parker thinks she's hot? And why couldn't Striking Distance have been the last we ever saw or heard from her again?

    December 14, 2009 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  21. me


    maybe we should raise our kids to be drunken actors. or at least get better jobs than making 25k.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  22. joeshmoe

    Hey Ron... Nice math... 25k * 60 years = 1.5 million.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  23. manoutnumbrd

    His faithful assistant had a 3M bid on the piece. He sold it for 21M. All over a plane ticket and a hand full of beers. was between family. It's all good Hugh.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  24. amp

    Looks like I need to go get drunk and go to an auction.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  25. John

    All the comments sound like sour grapes to me. Yeah I hate the bastard for being rich and lucky but what the hell someone has to be. At least he is enjoying himself and not wasting it on some self-righteous movement to save left-handed dogs,

    December 14, 2009 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  26. ben franklin

    @john: sadly 3 million doesn't really make you "rich" these days, simply financially secure.

    Once you can afford to spend 3 million on a painting and keep it, THEN you are rich.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Kate

    Not quite sure what to think about this. Mayhaps he was drunk when he gave the interview? It's kind of amusing, in a nauseating sort of way...

    December 14, 2009 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Al

    Wow, must be nice.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  29. From Riches to Riches

    When you got, you got it. Good on him. The real trick is having that 3 million to start with. I think we're all out of our league here.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Carey

    I think people are taking his comments FAR too seriously. People with lots of money do the same thing people with less money do... buy things. Different pay grade, different purchases. Plenty of people splurge on something they shouldn't and the lucky ones turn it into a profit later on.

    Has it occurred to anyone that the way this article was written was maybe intended to be humorous and a little 'larger than life'? That's what entertains/intrigues the general public, no?

    December 14, 2009 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  31. FEDFL

    Yet more proof that most rich people aren't smart... they're just ordinary drunk idiots that happened to be in the right place at the right time.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  32. djak

    I understand this is the "show biz" section, but come on. There's gotta be something more worthwhile to say about Hollywood than a rich drunk getting even richer while the rest of the country is struggling to have a decent Christmas.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  33. MyNameIsLuca

    I just Google imaged that painting... are we sure he didn't know it and it's actually a painting of Michael Jackson?

    December 14, 2009 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  34. star hater

    everyone bitches and is jealous of these disgusting untalented
    creatures called stars,
    but guess who gives them the money to buy their 10th home
    their 18th car,to buy a painting for 3 million.
    who gives incredibly talented ha -ha, Nicole Ritchie 1 million for her fugly baby pics .
    its us non-living schmucks that pay them to watch them supposedly live .
    so were to blame

    December 14, 2009 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Mike A.

    @ Boston Guy -

    While the article is very poorly written and it is less than clear, I think the drunken instructions to the assistant to purchase were the original $3 million purchase.

    Though I could be wrong. B/c this reads like a 12 year old wrote it.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Bubba from Denver

    Well, at least the IRS (or maybe Inland Revenue) will get a nice piece of the $18MM. Us ordinary folk should be grateful that High's good fortune will, in some small, but nonetheless positive manner, benefit us by helping to pay for our ever more generous government. Keep drinking Hugh !!! Elizabeth Taylor is smiling somewhere.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Crystal

    Boston Guy – that was referring to the initial purchase for $3mil, and it was his money not hers.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Really?

    I agree with the other poster who questioned people caring about this in these economic times.

    I'm not sure if I'll be able to pay my morgage next month. And when the transmission falls out of my car (impending. . . *sigh*) I think I have enough savings to buy a few hundred dollar car.

    I'm glad that drunk decisions for someone turn out well. The majority of us though just end up with a bad headache in the morning and wishing we'd spent that $20 on groceries instead.


    December 14, 2009 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  39. mike

    The rich get richer, even when drunk.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  40. AlanW

    Nothing like paying 3 to 20 million for signature. Seriously these rich bastards spend what I earn in 600 years of work on a painting.
    Plus the panting seems like more then a few hundred thousand artists in the world could recreate a near duplicate that only upon close inspection would fool you.
    Gotta love rich people anything they buy is an investment.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  41. NYbywayofTexas

    Hugh at one time was considered talented. Now, he seems like a drunken has-been. The constant use of alcohol is aging him quickly... and not very well. I thought it a bit insensative to talk about your million dollar acquisition and sale, while so many struggle to make it day by day. Hugh please go and dry out!!!!!

    December 14, 2009 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Marisol Flores

    He should find REAL single Mothers struggling raising kids on their own, you know, the ones with a dead beat father and no child support, and no help whatsoever, and give them some money to help them out specially now the Holiday Season. MAN! Put that money to good use! Help single Moms and their kids.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Sarah

    What a dear boy, what a fantastic fun story !!!!
    Such a chap!

    December 14, 2009 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  44. bolts

    What an idiot.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Leila

    Ok...why do you hate Hugh Grant for being rich? It is not his fault that the economy is in a deep hole; it is not his fault that many lost their jobs or are on the brink of losing them.
    Is he an idiot for bragging about the $18M? Yes. But do not blame your woes on him. And don't hate him for being rich.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Karl in Charleston,SC

    Hope he was drinking when he picked up that HOOKER!

    December 14, 2009 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  47. willa

    I love how he says selling the painting made him rich. Sorry but I don't know many people who get drunk and "think about stuff" in the Sotheby’s auction, nor do I know anyone sober or otherwise who on a whim can purchase a 3 million dollar painting!

    December 14, 2009 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Jay

    Uh, Ron. 25k a year for 60 years is 1.5 million.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  49. The Idiot

    I agree with the previous comments. Hugh's dumb luck will not go over well with those who are struggling to keep food on the table from day to day, and even worse, those who would go see his ridiculous new movie will not after reading his comments.

    Hey Hugh, how about telling us how you gave a few hundred thousand to charity? Better yet, a smidgen of humility would go along way toward bridging the gap! We liked you better when you hung with prostitutes, at least then you appeared more humble!

    December 14, 2009 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Fritzy

    Phew! At least he's got the money thing covered, won't have to worry about making anymore of those top-notch, award worthy, blockbuster (or dare I saw 'barely watchable') films, right?

    December 14, 2009 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  51. S Callahan

    Should have kept the art.. the money which won't be worth crap in a few years..but the painting is something to enjoy forever.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Woodie

    If Hugh Grant can make $18 million drunk then I need to get a bottle of whatever he was drinking.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Vermonter

    I know where he's coming from, last time I was hammered I went $5 million on a piece but didn't win it.

    Of course mine was not wine, the Concorde, Sotheby's, and a Warhol...Mine was Miller Lite, my living room, ebay, and a frozen waffle with the image of the vigin mother on it...

    December 14, 2009 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  54. J. Ripper

    *Made* him rich? As if. 18 mil is but a drop in his bank account.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  55. whateveryoneisthinking

    He's gross.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  56. john

    " made me rich" So, selling a painting for $21 million made him rich? He didn't consider himself "rich" in 2001 when he had the money to buy a painting for $3 million?

    December 14, 2009 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  57. Ron

    A nice lesson for all the kids out there who will spend their life working for 25k a year for 60 years and after a lifetime of 50 hour work weeks, being 80 years old, sick, and bitter, will have made less than a million dollars combined, and only able to have saved 10% of it if they are extremely lucky. what a wonderful world.

    December 14, 2009 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  58. Tall DeepVoice

    Speaking from personal experience, I can recommend at least one really good 12-step program for Mr. Grant. When did it become fashionable to brag about such foolishness? I thought it was only college frosh who bragged about how drunk they got. Hugh, sweetie, I can tell you, there is life after sobriety. You should give it a try!

    December 14, 2009 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  59. Boston Guy

    "Grant’s faithful assistant indulged his boozy whim. “To my horror, she did, and even worse, got it,” Grant recently admitted in an interview while doing press for his new romantic comedy with Sarah Jessica Parker".

    Ok, so he made his faithful assistant who had $21 million bid on the painting and then she got it? Where can I sign up for a job like hers?

    December 14, 2009 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  60. Wydok

    If he feels bad about it, he can give me a million or so of the cash.

    December 14, 2009 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  61. Alex Winter

    Why must the world be made to suffer through a movie starring both Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker? It's enough to make me seriously contemplate suicide.

    December 14, 2009 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  62. victor

    At least you did not lose your shirt while you are drunk.

    December 14, 2009 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  63. JB

    I'm sure that this story of some rich, drunken lout becoming even richer will warm the hearts of all of us scared to death of being laid off or, worse, already dealing with that reality.

    December 14, 2009 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Jim

    I will always take lucky over good

    December 14, 2009 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  65. SGJ

    Ok – thats ridiculous. Talk about falling a** backward into money/luck!

    December 14, 2009 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  66. Rumsfeld

    Aw shucks Hugh! Buyer's worry and seller's regret.

    December 14, 2009 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  67. My Name

    I cannot stand this guy with his fru-fru English accent, frying pan face, and penchant for hookers. Why he is famous is beyond me. Oh, and the movie looks like the biggest bomb of the year.

    December 14, 2009 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  68. BobbyC

    If Hugh Grant goes on Tonight Show – Conan needs to ask him this question first:

    "What was Tiger Woods thinking?!?!"

    December 14, 2009 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  69. scot

    Jolly Jolly good for you. Bragging boor

    December 14, 2009 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  70. Debra R

    At keast he wasn't away Hugh, just stay away from a vehicle when you drink OK?

    December 14, 2009 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  71. Tom

    Charmed bahstard Hugh Grant is.

    December 14, 2009 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |

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