Prince Harry to sue two British tabloids

9:48 am on 5 October 2019

The Duke of Sussex has begun legal action against the owners of the Sun, the defunct News of the World, and the Daily Mirror, in relation to alleged phone-hacking.

Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, speaks to the media at Windsor Castle, following the announcement that his wife, Britain's Meghan, Duchess of Sussex has given birth to a son.

During his recent tour of Africa, Prince Harry accused the British tabloid press of "relentless propaganda" regarding the coverage of hsi wife. Photo: AFP or licensors

Documents have been filed on behalf of Prince Harry over the alleged illegal interception of voicemail messages, Buckingham Palace has confirmed.

His wife, Meghan, recently launched legal action against the Mail on Sunday.

It is accused of unlawfully publishing a private letter to her father.

Today's legal action relates to events that happened before Harry and Meghan met.

In August 2006, the News of the World's former royal editor Clive Goodman and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire were arrested and later charged with hacking the telephones of royal aides by accessing voicemail messages. They admitted the charges in 2007.

The phones of Prince Harry, and his brother William's wife, Kate, were hacked by staff working for the now-defunct News of the World, a London court heard in 2013.

News of the World had been part of News Group Newspapers.

Head of News Corp

Rupert Murdoch Photo: AFP

The court heard extracts of a message left on Harry's phone in which an unknown male pretended to be the prince's then-girlfriend Chelsy Davy. The paper later ran a story saying the joke message was left by William for his brother.

Australian media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, now 88, said it was "the most humble day of my life" when he appeared in front of lawmakers to answer for the phone-hacking allegations in 2011.

News Group Newspapers and Mirror Group Newspapers faced millions of pounds of civil claims after the scandal, with celebrities including former footballer Paul Gascoigne and actors Hugh Grant and Steve Coogan receiving damages.

Reach PLC, which owns the Daily Express and Daily Star as well as the Daily Mirror, said in July there was a $NZ23.4 million provision for costs associated with the settlement of civil claims in relation to phone-hacking and it represented "the Board's best estimate of the amount required to settle the expected claims".

A spokeswoman for News Group Newspapers (NGN) - the publishers of the Sun and the News of The World - said: "We confirm that a claim has been issued by the Duke of Sussex.

"We have no further comment to make at the current time."

The duke's fresh legal claim comes just days after he accused the British tabloid press of "relentless propaganda" in his statement announcing his wife's legal action.

In the statement, which was issued during the couple's tour of southern Africa, Prince Harry said the "painful" impact of intrusive media coverage had forced the couple to take action.

Referring to his late mother Diana, Princess of Wales, the prince said his "deepest fear is history repeating itself".

"I've seen what happens when someone I love is commoditised to the point that they are no longer treated or seen as a real person," he said.

- BBC /Reuters

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