Tulisa to appear in court this morning following The Sun's 'fake sheikh' drugs sting - Press Gazette

Tulisa to appear in court this morning following The Sun's 'fake sheikh' drugs sting

Former X-Factor judge Tulisa Contostavlos will appear in court this morning on drugs charges following a sting by the Sun newspaper.

The 25-year old singer is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates Court for “being concerned in” the supply of cocaine.

CPS London chief Crown prosecutor Baljit Ubhey said last week: "This charge relates to an investigation by the Sun newspaper between early March 2013 and May 23 2013 which resulted in the supply of Class A drugs to an investigative journalist.

"This decision to prosecute was taken in accordance with the code for Crown prosecutors.

"We have determined that there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and that a prosecution is in the public interest."

Contostavlos was initially arrested in connection with the incident with 35-year-old musician Mike GLC – real name Michael Coombs – on 4 June.

She was officially dropped as a judge on X Factor days before her arrest, with Sharon Osbourne returning to the show in her place.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said the singer had been charged alongside Coombs, 35, of Enfield, who is also due to appear today.

Contostavlos's lawyer Ben Rose said last week that his client would be denying the charge and claimed she joined a line of celebrities who had been used as "fodder by greedy newspapers".

In a statement he said: "Tulisa has been charged with a serious criminal offence to which she will plead not guilty.

"As has been widely reported, this entire case has been manufactured by the Sun on Sunday and Mazher Mahmood, sometimes known as the fake sheikh.

"They spent a large amount of their readers' money in flying Tulisa and a number of her friends first class to Las Vegas.

"There, Mahmood posed as a film producer offering her a £3 million film contract.

"This case is not simply about drug supply.

"It is about the limits which we set on the conduct of journalists.

"The media have rightly been criticised in recent years for gross invasion into the private life of others.

"Tulisa is the latest in a long line of people who have been treated as fodder by greedy newspapers.

"This was a deliberate attempt to target a young woman who is all the more vulnerable because of her celebrity status.

''The law clearly forbids such conduct on the part of police.

"It is ironic that the police should rely on it when it is the work of a journalist.

"In due course, Tulisa will give a full answer to these allegations in court."

A Sun spokeswoman defended the article, adding: "The Sun on Sunday's investigation into Tulisa Contostavlos was entirely justified in the public interest.

"Ms Contostavlos is a self-described role model for young people and therefore has certain responsibilities.

"Throughout our investigation, our team followed the Press Complaints Commission Code and then handed over our dossier of evidence to the police.

"Following the police investigation, prosecutors have decided that there is a clear case to answer.

"It is right that this matter should go to court and be decided by a jury.

"Allegations about the conduct of this newspaper made by Ms Contostavlos' lawyers are entirely without foundation."




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