Prince Harry unexpectedly appeared at the High Court in London on Monday for a court case in which he and other celebrities, including Sir Elton John, are fighting a British newspaper publisher over privacy. Elton John also arrived at the courthouse on Monday.
Associated Newspapers Ltd, the publisher of the Daily Mail in The Mail on Sundayis being dragged to court over the alleged use of, among other things, listening devices to obtain celebrities’ information in an illegal manner.
The Duke of Sussex, Elton John and his husband David Furnish, as well as the actresses Liz Hurley and Sadie Frost, say their privacy has been violated.
“The plaintiffs all claim that they were, in different ways, the victims of illegal actions by the defendant or those who, on behalf of his newspapers, the Daily Mail in The Mail on Sundayacted,” says lawyer David Sherborne in written submissions to the court.
The alleged illegal conduct includes “unlawful interception of voicemail messages, wiretapping of direct landline calls, obtaining private information such as detailed telephone bills or medical records by deception and using private investigators to obtain this information on their behalf”.
The publisher is also accused of having even instructed persons to enter or break into celebrities’ property.
Most of the incidents allegedly took place between 1993 and 2011. However, some incidents continued into 2018.
Associated Newspapers labeled the case a smear campaign.
A spokesperson for the publisher also said the allegations were “baseless and highly defamatory, based on no credible evidence”.
A four-day preliminary hearing will now take place at the High Court in London. However, Associated Newspapers argues that the case carries no weight and should be thrown out without a trial.
Harry, the younger son of Britain’s King Charles III, has had a sour relationship with the media for years after a chase with paparazzi photographers claimed the life of his mother, Princess Diana, in 1997.
Prince Harry arrives at the Royal Courts of Justice for his privacy case hearing against Associated Newspapers pic.twitter.com/LLbi19m3DG
— Ellie Costello (@elliecostelloTV) March 27, 2023
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