Prince Harry and Elton John appear at a Britain High Court in Associated Newspapers hearing
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As the attorney for a group of British tabloids prepared to ask the judge to dismiss the prince’s, Elton John’s, and other celebrities’ lawsuits alleging phone tapping and other invasions of privacy, Prince Harry was in a London courtroom on Monday.
The Duke of Sussex has filed several lawsuits against the media, and Harry’s attendance at the High Court in London is evidence of the significance he places on the case. Four days are predicted for the hearing.
According to the lawsuit, Associated Newspapers Ltd., which publishes publications like the Daily Mail, ordered the “breaking and entry into private property,” as well as other illegal activities like hiring private investigators to bug homes and cars and record private phone calls.
In a court document, attorney David Sherborne stated that the clients “were the victims of numerous unlawful acts carried out by the defendant, or by those acting on the instructions of its newspapers, The Daily Mail and The Mail On Sunday.”
Together with Sadie Frost, who was present in court, and David Furnish, Sadie’s husband, are also plaintiffs. Harry sat in the back of the court and took notes as the lawyers talked about the initial issues.
According to Sherborne, the allegations go back to 1993 and continue now.
The publisher claimed that the allegations are too old to be brought up at this time and that they should also be dismissed because they are based on data that newspapers provided in confidence for an investigation into media law violations in 2012.
Adrian Beltrami, an attorney, wrote in a letter, “It would be surprising indeed for any properly knowledgeable member of the public, let alone a figure in the public eye, to have been oblivious of these problems.”
Following disclosures in 2011 that News of the World tabloid employees had eavesdropped on the voicemails of celebrities, politicians, and a teenage murder victim on their mobile phones, Britain conducted a year-long inquiry into press ethics.
Rupert Murdoch, the newspaper’s owner, closed it down in the midst of a police probe and public outcry. Murdoch’s firm paid millions in damages to dozens of hacking victims, and some journalists were found guilty.
Lord Justice Brian Leveson wrote in the report from the inquiry’s 2012 hearings that “outrageous” press activity had “wreaked havoc with the lives of innocent people whose rights and liberties have been disdained.”
In addition to hearing the present eavesdropping case, Judge Matthew Nicklin is also in charge of Harry’s separate libel case against Associated Newspapers because of an item regarding his request for police protection while he and his family are in the UK.
Harry, the younger son of King Charles III, and Meghan Markle, a former actress, left their positions as working royals in 2020 and relocated to the United States, citing what they called the intolerable intrusions and racist attitudes of the British media.
Harry has stated that he intends to dedicate his life to changing the British media. His memoir “Spare,” which was released in January, is filled with his rage at the British media. In addition to accusing the media of hounding Meghan, he blamed an overly aggressive press for the death of his mother, Princess Diana, in 1997.
To fight what they perceive to be media harassment, the couple has turned to British courts. Meghan won a privacy invasion lawsuit against Associated Newspapers in December 2021 because the Mail on Sunday published a letter she addressed to her divorced father.
In a second hacking lawsuit, Harry is also suing the owner of the Mirror, a different tabloid.