Prince Harry settles a case against the publisher of a tabloid newspaper in the United Kingdom who hacked his phone
LONDON (AP) — A British newspaper publisher has agreed to pay Prince Harry a “substantial” sum in costs and damages for violating his privacy through phone hacking and other illegal intrusions, Harry’s lawyer said Friday.
Lawyer David Sherborne said the Mirror Group newspapers had agreed to pay all of Harry’s legal costs, plus damages, and would make an interim payment of 400,000 pounds ($505,000) within 14 days. The final tab will be evaluated later.
Harry was awarded £140,000 ($177,000) in compensation in December, after a judge found that… Phone hacking was “widespread and common.” At Mirror Group newspapers in the late 1990s, it persisted for more than a decade, and newspaper executives covered it up. Judge Timothy Fancourt found that Harry’s phone had been compromised to a “modest extent.”
The settlement avoids a new trial for more than 115 other tabloid articles that Harry says were the result of hacking or other interference.
The Mirror Group said in a statement that it was “delighted to have reached this agreement, which gives our business greater clarity moving forward following the events that occurred many years ago for which we have apologized.”
The case that Harry filed against the publisher of the Daily Mirror and two other popular newspapers is one of several cases he launched in a campaign against the British media, which he accuses of ruining his life and persecuting his late mother, Princess Diana, and his wife, Meghan.
“Our mission continues,” Harry said in a statement read by his lawyer outside court.
In June, he became the first senior member of the royal family To testify in court more than a century ago During the trial of his case against the mirror.
Harry, also known as the Duke of Sussex, was not in court during Friday’s ruling. he He traveled to London from his home in California Earlier this week to visit his father, King Charles III, who had been diagnosed with cancer. Harry returned to the United States about 24 hours later.
Harry still has ongoing cases against the publishers of The Sun and Daily Mail over allegations of illegal hacking. He recently dropped a libel case against the publisher of The Mail after an inadequate pre-trial ruling.
At a High Court hearing on Friday, the judge ordered the Mirror Group to pay some of the legal costs of three other claimants whose cases were being heard alongside Harry’s.
Fancourt said that “all plaintiffs were vindicated” by the court’s findings of misconduct by the Mirror Group, and that legal costs had increased due to the publisher’s “attempts to conceal the truth.”
The publisher was ordered to pay “overhead costs” for a public case aimed at exposing wrongdoing committed by the company. This is separate from the legal costs of preparing and submitting individuals’ specific claims.
The judge said the other three claimants should pay some of the Mirror Group’s costs in their individual cases, because they had made exaggerated claims or failed to accept reasonable settlement offers.
The judge found last December that the privacy of all four plaintiffs had been violated, but dismissed the cases brought by actress Nikki Sanderson and Fiona Whiteman, the ex-wife of comedian Paul Whitehouse, because they were brought too late. Actor Michael Turner’s claim was partially successful.
British newspaper hacking dates back more than two decades, when scoop-hungry journalists would regularly call the numbers of royals, celebrities, politicians and sports stars and, when asked to leave a message, enter virtual passcodes to eavesdrop on voicemail messages.
The practice turned into a full-fledged scandal in 2011 when it was revealed that Rupert Murdoch’s company News of the World had intercepted messages from a murdered girl, relatives of dead British soldiers and bombing victims. Murdoch closed the newspaper, and a former editor of the News of the World was imprisoned.
It later emerged that the newspapers had used other intrusive means such as phone tapping, house tapping and “publishing” details of medical records, meaning obtaining information by deception.
Mirror Group Newspapers said it had paid more than 100 million pounds ($128 million) in other phone-hacking lawsuits over the years, but denied any wrongdoing in Harry’s case. She said she used legitimate reporting methods to obtain information about the prince.