Prince Harry Vindicated As British Tabloid Issues Apology In Phone Hacking Case
A win for Prince Harry!
The Duke of Sussex has received an apology amid one of many of his phone hacking lawsuits! This week, Harry’s trial against Mirror Group Newspapers, the publisher of Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror, and Daily Express, officially began. The 38-year-old is one of four “representative” claimants chosen as “test cases” from a larger group of high-profile figures suing the company for alleged unlawful information gathering, per The Independent. Even though they’re just days into the trial, which is expected to last six to seven weeks, MGN is already owning up to a mistake!
In court filings on Wednesday, the media group admitted to one instance of unlawful information gathering and noted the violation “warrants compensation,” via Sky News, saying:
“MGN unreservedly apologises for all such instances of UIG, and assures the claimants that such conduct will never be repeated.”
According to the outlet, a journalist for Mirror News Group hired a private investigator to illegally gather info about the prince’s activities at a London nightclub in 2004. Interestingly, though, the article that followed in The People was NOT included in Harry’s claims in the case, the BBC reported. Hmm. The publisher also went on to deny allegations of voicemail hacking — and they even argued the legal time limit for some of those claims has passed.
While the dad of two was not in court today, his attorney David Sherborne represented him. His case involves 148 articles published from 1996 to 2010, the BBC noted.
In a written statement submitted by the lawyer, he addressed evidence of the scandal, saying via Sky News:
“ experienced unusual telephone and media-related activity which is consistent, now in hindsight but at the time unsuspected, with the unauthorised accessing of his voicemails and other unlawful information gathering.”
Specifically, Meghan Markle‘s husband received missed and hung-up phone calls “on an almost daily basis from numbers he did not recognise.” The lawyer argued:
“This unlawful activity, including in particular knowing where the Duke of Sussex was going to be at a given time and the widespread dissemination amongst MGN’s journalists of private information relating to him, posed a very real and large-scale security risk for the Duke of Sussex, his family and his associates.”
The Archewell founder is expected to appear in London court for this case in June. He was not expected to be at the start of the trial as he flew home to California immediately after his father’s coronation over the weekend. Other claimants are Nikki Sanderson, actor Michael Turner, and Fiona Wightman, ex-wife of comedian Paul Whitehouse.
As mentioned, this is just one of several lawsuits Harry is embroiled in right now over phone hacking. There was a preliminary hearing in his battle against News Group Newspapers, publisher of The Sun and the now-defunct News of the World, in April to determine whether the case will go to trial. It was during this case he alleged the group had a “secret agreement” with the royal family that meant he could not sue them earlier and claimed Prince William quietly received a “very large sum of money” in a settlement. In March, Harry also made a surprise appearance in London for his battle against Associated Newspapers, publisher of Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday.
Safe to say there’s been a lot of legal drama lately! But an apology seems like a step in the right direction. Thoughts? Let us know (below)!
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