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Tulisa Contostavlos' lawyer blasts media for setting up drug sting

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Dec 10, 2013 | 2:31pm EST

Tulisa Contostavlos' lawyer has blasted U.K. tabloid editors for invading the troubled British pop star's privacy after setting up the drugs sting which led to her criminal charge on Monday (09Dec13). The N-Dubz singer stands accused of helping to supply an undercover reporter from The Sun on Sunday with cocaine in a sale worth $1,200 (£800). The alleged sale and exchange of drugs was caught on camera, which was handed over to police for investigation, resulting in Contostavlos' arrest in June (13). Officials filed charges against her on Monday, crediting The Sun editors for their crime-busting work, which took place between March (13) and May (13). Contostavlos' legal representative, Ben Rose, has now issued a statement on the singer's behalf, hitting out at tabloid bosses for their part in the set-up. The statement reads: "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 Mahzer 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 25 year old has been summoned to appear before a judge at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London next Thursday (19Dec13). Efforts to regulate the British media have been heavily debated in the U.K. in the wake of the News of the World phone hacking scandal, after it emerged a private investigator working for the newspaper illegally accessed celebrities' cell phone voicemail messages. Rupert Murdoch's newspaper was closed in 2011 as a result of the controversy.

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