The Tropic Thunder star has been the subject of several high-profile articles in U.K. newspapers during his career, detailing his drug use and tawdry tales of his sex life.
He is one of the leading campaigners for a reform of the media in his native Britain, and on Tuesday (22Nov11) he appeared before a public inquiry into press standards to insist he’s not a legitimate target for the tabloids as he has never courted them.
Coogan told the hearing, “I don’t appear on panel shows as myself. I create comedy characters. I don’t sell myself as a person… There are people who exploit the press and are in the fame game. They do enter into a Faustian pact with the press. I haven’t.
“I have never set myself up as paragon of virtue, as a model of morality. I simply do what I do and that’s what I should be judged on – my work.”
The public inquiry into press standards in the U.K. was sparked by the News of the World phone hacking scandal earlier this year (11), when allegations a private investigator intercepted voicemail messages from cell phones belonging to crime victims led to the tabloid’s closure.