Ex-'X-Factor' judge trial nixed over lying claims

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Associated Press

Posted on July 21, 2014 at 10:01 AM

Updated Monday, Jul 21 at 11:02 AM

LONDON (AP) — The drug trial of a British celebrity has collapsed after the judge said an undercover reporter known as the "Fake Sheikh" probably lied under oath.

The Rupert Murdoch-owned Sun on Sunday tabloid reported last year it had caught Tulisa Contostavlos, a singer and former judge on the 'X-Factor' talent show, acting a go-between in a deal to sell cocaine to a reporter posing as a wealthy film producer.

The scoop was the work of Mazher Mahmood, a journalist famed for pulling off undercover stings while disguised as a wealthy Arab businessman.

Judge Alistair McCreath stopped the trial Monday, saying there were "strong grounds to believe" Mahmood had lied at a pre-trial hearing.

Contostavlos accused Mahmood of "horrific and disgusting entrapment."

The Sun says Mahmood has been suspended pending an investigation.

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