Hugh Grant, who finally tied the knot last month after decades of deriding marriage, says his Swedish wife was “kidnapped” by an angry taxi driver during their honeymoon in Paris.
“I had a terrible fight with a taxi driver in Paris the other day, I always have a fight with a taxi driver in Paris, they’re not very nice if truth be told,” he said on a US chat show.
The incident came after the 57-year-old married longtime girlfriend Anna Eberstein, 39, in May and the pair then headed to France for their honeymoon.
But their romantic holiday in the City Of Lights went badly wrong when the newly-weds took a taxi, Mr Grant recounted on the Late Night with Seth Meyers show on Wednesday.
He said the cab driver assured him that his credit card terminal worked, but upon arriving at their destination, it turned out that the machine was not operational and he couldn’t pay the €6 (£5.30) fare.
“So there was this terrible fight and he took me to an ATM and the ATM didn't work and I panicked,” said the star who is best known for playing a bumbling Englishman in romantic comedies like Notting Hill and Four Weddings and a Funeral.
He said he panicked and said to his new wife, who is a television producer and mother to three of his five children, to “get out the car”.
"The taxi driver said, 'What are you doing?' I said, 'Your machine doesn’t work so we’re not paying',” said Mr Grant, who is currently promoting his new TV show, A Very English Scandal.
“At which point, he kidnapped her. Just drove off with my wife,” he said. “That was a real downer on the honeymoon.”
The actor did not explain how the situation was finally resolved, but he said that Ms Eberstein was still resentful that he didn’t run after the car. He said he had told her: “Well it was going at 50 miles an hour, what's the point?”
The British actor’s tale will strike a chord with many visitors to the French capital who have had to deal with the city’s notoriously grumpy cab drivers.
The arrival of Uber in France has however forced taxi drivers to improve their customer service.
The head of G7, by far Paris’ biggest taxi company, told the Telegraph that with Uber and other cabs flooding the city and drivers now receiving marks on smartphone applications, the industry has been forced to enact a “cultural revolution”.
But, to judge from Hugh Grant’s unhappy experience, some Paris taxi drivers still have a long way to go.
A petition calling for Erewash cabbies to be allowed to have fully-tinted windows in their taxis has been rejected over fears that vehicles could be used to enable the abuse of vulnerable children and adults.