After Meghan’s victory, Harry has his sights set on hackers | Prince harry
The legal battle against the Mail on Sunday may finally be over.
But for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, another is looming, and it could go to trial.
On this occasion, the phone hacking is at the heart of a case that the prince brought against the Sun, the News of the World and the Daily Mirror – newspapers, according to him, illegally intercepted his voicemail messages.
He is set to appear in court next year, according to the Guardian, in another case that pits half of the Sussexes against powerful tabloid press players.
Prince Harry is seeking damages in excess of £ 200,000 in the lawsuit, first brought in 2019. In court documents he said it affected his relations with his friends and his family and that he had finally experienced a breakdown in trust. Highlighted articles include those relating to her relationship with Chelsy Davy, which ended in 2010.
For more than a decade, victims of phone hacks have consistently accepted generous settlements from the tabloids who hacked them before the cases reached court, but it is possible – especially given Meghan’s comments on Thursday – that Harry be the one to break the mold.
The Guardian understands that there is no sign of a settlement at this time. There is no lost love between the parties, and on the one hand, News Group Newspapers has alleged that it is too late to file a complaint. In a court file, obtained by Newsweek, the company owned by Rupert Murdoch admitted that Harry’s phone was hacked by Royal News of the World correspondent Clive Goodman and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire.
Among the articles he conceded to be based on the hack were an April 2006 report that “Prince Harry received an enraged Chelsy Davy disguising himself about his late night antics at a lapdancing bar” and a August 2005 article on a disagreement between Harry and Prince Andrew during a weekend of filming at Balmoral.
But the file stated: “These were first published more than six years before the start of these proceedings and this request is therefore time-barred and it is denied that [Prince Harry] is entitled to any compensation in his regard. News Group has disputed other aspects of the prince’s claims, including that the Sun hacked his phone.
The other obstacle to the settlement could be that Harry persists with determination to instead get a judgment against the two groups of newspapers in court.
Along with other victims of phone hacks – Harry is believed to be the last big name with an outstanding claim – the pattern has been consistent with a settlement eventually reached and accepted.
However, given Meghan’s desire to change a model that she says “rewards chaos above truth”, there remains the possibility that even if News Group Newspapers and Reach plc admit her claim is valid – and there is no sign of it – Harry will be determined to have his day in court.
This would amount to a powerful declaration of intent, as it would risk leaving him heavy losses, at the cost of a symbolic victory.
In civil lawsuits, when an offer to settle is declined and the case goes to court, if the judge awards an amount less than or equal to the amount offered, he will usually force the plaintiff to pay the court costs of the court. other party since the settlement amount was deposited with the court.
In other words, by denying a settlement Harry would risk having to pay legal fees to – hopefully – have a judge rule in his favor against his opponents.
For most people that would be unthinkable, but the couple’s wealth and the unprecedented way – for the Royal Family – in which they have faced the tabloid press head-on, means it’s a possibility.
And it is possible that, having only one legal battle, they are tempted to undertake more where they feel they have been wronged by the press.
Speaking after Thursday’s court victory over The Mail on Sunday for publishing a private letter she sent to her father, Meghan made it clear that the Sussexes are not yet finished.
“What matters most is that we are now collectively brave enough to reshape a tabloid industry that conditions people to be cruel and profits from the lies and the pain they create,” she said. .
Reach plc declined to comment.
News Group and the Sussexes have also been approached for comment.