| Elizabeth Hurley and Hugh Grant: Simian connection
London, Feb. 21 (PTI): British actor Hugh Grant will not only be a guest at the wedding of his former girlfriend of 13 years, Elizabeth Hurley, to Indian millionaire businessman Arun Nayar, but will present her with an odd gift — a monkey.
Forty-six-year-old Grant, who parted with his girlfriend Jemima Khan recently, will be an usher at the March 3 wedding ceremony with special speech-making responsibilities, The Daily Mail reported today.
The 41-year-old model will hold the first of her two nuptial celebrations over a weekend in the Cotswolds. Guests will also take part in a pheasant shoot on the £2.5-million Gloucestershire estate near Ampney Knowle as part of the elaborate wedding weekend.
The location of the wedding party is believed to be Sudely Castle, the home of close friends Henry Dent-Brocklehurst and Lili Maltese.
Elizabeth’s son Damien, by American billionaire Steve Bing, is closely involved with the wedding arrangements. The four-year-old, who counts Grant as godfather, will be the ring-bearer in the ceremony.
The wedding to Nayar, also 41, is rumoured to cost £2 million while the ring itself costs just under £1 million.
Organising the two weddings has been intensive since Nayar’s divorce from Valentina Pedroni was finalised in November 2005.
The Indian leg of the nuptials will be held at Devi Garh, an eighteenth century palace and fort in Rajasthan, later next month.
Quoting a friend, the tabloid said: “Hugh will be like a co-host alongside the best man on the day. He will be making a speech — but pointedly it will be clean. It will be a comedy turn, but there will be no smutty little asides of innuendoes about the relationship they had all those years.
“Hugh will joke about how Elizabeth carried on like a right little Hitler when she produced him on Mickey Blue Eyes. He’ll be asking Arun whether he really knows what he’s taking on. To conclude he will speak of his happiness that Elizabeth has finally found a man who makes her fantastically happy.”
And to further cement his friendship with Nayar, Grant has also apparently been invited to his stag do.
According to sources close to the bride, the actor has also quite bizarrely sponsored a monkey as a wedding gift, the report said.
The primate in question — currently resident at a British zoo — will be named “Elizabeth” in return for Grant paying for its upkeep. The gift is apparently a reference to the nickname she had given him when they were dating.
Indeed, Hurley has previously revealed in an interview that they named the production company they co-owned Simian due to Grant’s apparent monkey-like looks.
She said: “We named our company that way because I think Hugh looks like a chimpanzee. His ears are too small and too high on his head. It gives him a very simian expression. It’s humiliating to admit it but it’s the truth.”
Quoting friends, the report said it was, in fact, a second extraordinarily expensive present Grant bought Hurley from jewellers Chopard that proved the final nail in the coffin for his relationship with Khan.
“When Jemima discovered Hugh had forked out so much on a Chopard necklace for Elizabeth and had it engraved with a personal message, she felt enough was enough,” it said.