Prince Harry is continuing his take down of the British press by filing several new claims against the publishers of The Sun and the former owners of The Mirror.
On September 27, the 35-year-old Duke of Sussex and his lawyers Clintons LLP issued began legal action against Rupert Murdoch owned News Group Newspapers Ltd (NGN) and Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) for allegedly illegally acquiring the royal’s private information for stories.
Claims were filed at the High Court on Sept 27 by his legal team at Clintons LLP (who have represented at least one other alleged hacking victim in a previous trial against MGN). This was two days before the couple filed a claim against the Mail on Sunday. pic.twitter.com/VXOLo98iS2— Omid Scobie (@scobie) October 4, 2019
According to a reports, the suit is believed to refer to alleged phone hacking in the early 2000s and “unlawful news gathering activities.”
First reported by Byline Investigates, Brian Cathcart, media commentator and professor of journalism at Kingston University London, said the latest lawsuits could be worrisome for the newspaper outlets.
“An interesting question raised by Harry's latest action – and one which is bound to worry newspaper bosses – is how far he might be prepared to go,” Cathcart said.
“The Murdoch and Mirror papers have a record of settling phone hacking cases at the door of the court. It costs them a lot of money, but it also prevents a public trial at which executives and reporters past and present would be required to account for themselves and at which all the facts would come into the open.”
While no lawsuit particulars have been released, Buckingham Palace has confirmed the suits, so has a spokesperson for NGN.
The news comes just days after the Duke released a lengthy statement announcing his plans to sue the Mail on Sunday and its publishers, citing a breach of the Data Protection Act. Prince Harry alleges that in the midst of the “malicious” coverage of his wife, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, the Daily Mail publishers illegally obtained a private letter from the Duchess to her father, Thomas Markle.
“Though this action may not be the safe one, it is the right one,” Prince Harry said. “Because my deepest fear is history repeating itself.”
“I’ve seen what happens when someone I love is commoditized to the point that they are no longer treated or seen as a real person. I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces.”