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An iconic dress and "lewd act": Inside Liz Hurley and Hugh Grant's 13-year relationship.

Nothing screams “1990s” quite like the photo of Elizabeth Hurley with Hugh Grant, walking the red carpet in that iconic gold safety-pin Versace dress at the premiere of Four Weddings and a Funeral, in 1994.

the-dress
The dress. Image: Getty.

Together for 13 years, the power couple is one of the most memorable of the time; and not only because their relationship self-combusted at the turn of the century in 2000.

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The world loved them because of their individual career successes in movies and modelling, and adored them being together - making the public view their relationship as the British Brad and Jen of their time. Beautiful and glamorous, certified A-listers, their life was the stuff of fairy tales… until it wasn’t.

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So how did something so right, go so wrong? Here’s what we know about their journey from lovers to now, as they claim, the closest of friends.

Hugh, now 59, and Liz, now 54, met on the set of Spanish film Remando al Viento (Rowing with the Wind) in 1987. It was Hurley’s first major acting role.

The relationship seemed, according to the tabloids at the time, perfect. Which is why what happened in 1995, eight years into their relationship, was so shocking to the public.

Grant was caught engaging in a “lewd act” with sex worker, Divine Brown, on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood.

Two weeks later, the actor appeared with Hurley at the premiere of the movie Nine Months, but although the couple seemed to be working through their issues, major damage had been done.

Elizabeth Hurley and Hugh Grant
The couple at the Nine Months premiere. Image: Getty.

“I felt like I’d been shot,” Hurley told Barbara Walters in an interview later that year.

Grant took responsibility for the hurt he caused. In a public statement, he admitted, "Last night I did something completely insane.

"I have hurt people I love and embarrassed people I work with. For both things, I am more sorry than I can ever possibly say."

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Despite invasive paparazzi photos of the couple arguing in their backyard being published at the time, Hurley and Grant remained together for another five years. They finally split in 2000 after 13 years together, but according to both of them, the Divine Brown incident didn’t have much to do with it.

In 2015 they appeared separately on Andy Cohen’s Watch What Happens Live and gave their own accounts of why their romance ended.

According to Grant, “the sex part probably fizzled out… but she’s my number-one best friend in the world”.

Hurley cited a different reason in her own interview: Grant’s intense mood swings.

“He used to really annoy me… My friends used to call him Grumplestiltskin,” Hurley said, referencing Grant’s notorious penchant for a sour attitude.

For Hurley, it wasn’t the sex ‘fizzling’ at all, as she claimed Grant was a “10 in the sack”, still after 13 years together.

Despite their different perspectives, the pair have maintained their close friendship.

In 2002, the former Estée Lauder model gave birth to son Damian (now 17), whom she had with businessman Steve Bing. A testament to their platonic love for each other, Hurley appointed Grant as Damian’s godfather.

 

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Uncle Hugh ❤️

A post shared by Damian Hurley (@damianhurley1) on

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Hurley is also happy to acknowledge the importance of Grant in her life, on social media. For example, she posted a photo of them together in September 2018, wishing Grant a happy birthday and calling him, “one of my best friends.”

According to Grant, their long history together is the reason behind their seemingly unbreakable bond.

"We're like brother and sister," Hugh told People's The Jess Cagle Interview in January 2018.

"I think it's partly because we went from zero to somewhere together, and we went through terrible years at the beginning when neither of us had any work, living in a tiny flat.

“It was quite bonding."

Feature image: Getty.

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