Thursday, July 25, 2024

Prince Harry Reaches Settlement in Phone Hacking Case

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Prince Harry Reacts After Phone Hacking Case Win

Prince Harry has been awarded an additional sum.

Five years after the Duke of Sussex sued Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) for alleged phone hacking over a 15-year span in the 1990s and 2000s, the company has been ordered to pay Harry an additional sum. 

Harry’s attorney David Sherborne announced during a Feb. 9 hearing that MGN and the prince had reached a settlement that would see the publisher covering his legal costs and damages as well as an interim payment of 400,000 pounds ($505,000) for invading his privacy with phone hacking and other illegal snooping, per NBC News.

“After our victory in December,” he said in a statement on Harry’s behalf outside the court room which was shared with E! News. “Mirror Group have finally conceded the rest of my claim. Everything we said was happening at Mirror Group was in fact happening, and indeed far worse as the Court ruled in its extremely damaging judgement.”

The prince’s statement continued, “As the judge has said this morning, we have uncovered and proved the shockingly dishonest way the Mirror Group acted for many years and then sought to conceal the truth.”

In regards to the settlement, MGN—which publishes tabloids such as The Daily Mirror and Sunday Mirror—said in a statement obtained by NBC News that it was “pleased to have reached this agreement, which gives our business further clarity to move forward from events that took place many years ago and for which we have apologized.”

E! News has reached out to MGN for comment but has not yet heard back.

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Harry had previously been awarded $177,000 in damages in December after a judge found that phone hacking was “widespread and habitual” at MGN throughout the ‘90s and aughts and that company executives covered up the practice. At the time, Judge Timothy Fancourt found that Harry’s phone was hacked “to a modest extent,” per NBC News.

During the December ruling, the judge found that 15 of the 33 articles Harry had submitted as part of his 2019 lawsuit had been based on unlawful information gathering. However as the case progressed, an additional 115 articles published between 1996 and 2010 were added to Harry’s claim and could have been the subject of a further trial had the royal not reached a settlement with MGN.

Back in May, Harry received an apology from the company in a statement that admitted to a single instance of unlawfully gathering information.

“MGN unreservedly apologises for all such instances of UIG,” the British publisher’s statement—written in a court filing at the start of the trial May 10—read, “and assures the claimants that such conduct will never be repeated.”

Leon Neal / Staff (Getty)

A month after Harry received his apology, he took to the stand in London’s High Court—becoming the first senior British royal to testify in a court of law in more than a century. During his June. 7 testimony, among the many claims he alleged against the British tabloids, were that he believed the press to be in part responsible for his breakup with then-girlfriend Chelsea Davy and that prior to her 1997 death, his mother Princess Diana believed her private messages were being listened to.

In his 55-page witness statement, published in full by The New York Times, Harry wrote that he “genuinely feels that in every relationship that I’ve ever had—be that with friends, girlfriends, with family or with the army, there’s always been a third party involved, namely the tabloid press.”

However, with this latest victory, the prince is expressing optimism that the tide is continuing to turn.

“As I said back in December, our mission continues,” Harry’s Feb. 9 statement concluded. “I believe in the positive change it will bring for all of us. It is the very reason why I started this, and why I will continue to see it through to the end.”

NBC News and E! News are both part of NBCUniversal.

For more of this year’s royal news from around the world, keep reading. 

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King Charles Diagnosed With Cancer

While King Charles III was in the hospital for his benign prostate enlargement procedure, the royal family member was diagnosed with cancer.

“His Majesty has today commenced a schedule of regular treatments, during which time he has been advised by doctors to postpone public-facing duties,” Buckingham Palace said Feb. 5. “Throughout this period, His Majesty will continue to undertake State business and official paperwork as usual.The King is grateful to his medical team for their swift intervention, which was made possible thanks to his recent hospital procedure. He remains wholly positive about his treatment and looks forward to returning to full public duty as soon as possible.”

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Sarah Ferguson Is Diagnosed With a Second Type of Cancer

The Duchess of York’s rep said in a statement on Jan. 21 that Sarah was recently diagnosed with malignant melanoma, an aggressive form of skin cancer. Several months prior, she underwent a single mastectomy to treat breast cancer.

KELD NAVNTOFT/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark Abdicates the Throne

On Jan. 14, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark made history as she officially abdicated the throne, handing the crown over to her son, now known as King Frederik the 10th

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Kate Middleton Is Hospitalized

Kensington Palace announced on Jan. 17 that Kate Middleton underwent planned abdominal surgery and was set to remain in the hospital for 10 to 14 days.

“Based on the current medical advice,” the Palace said, “she is unlikely to return to public duties until after Easter.”

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Prince William Adjusting His Schedule

Amid Kate’s recovery, Prince William postponed a number of engagements as he supported his family, including the couple’s three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

WPA Pool / Pool (Getty)

King Charles III Undergoing Treatment

Shortly after Kate’s hospitalization was made public, Buckingham Palace shared that Charles “has sought treatment for an enlarged prostate.”

“His Majesty’s condition is benign and he will attend hospital next week for a corrective procedure,” the statement added. “The King’s public engagements will be postponed for a short period of recuperation.”

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Luxembourg Welcomes a New Baby

Princess Claire and Prince Felix of Luxembourg welcomed son Balthazar Felix Karl on Jan. 7, the first royal baby of the New Year!

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