The Duke of Sussex and five others allege that they have become “victims of abhorrent criminal activity and gross breaches of privacy by Associated Newspapers”
Prince Harry is taking legal action.
The Duke of Sussex, 38, is launching a lawsuit against Associated Newspapers, the publishing house home to The Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday and MailOnline, according to a press release issued by Hamlins LLP on Thursday. Joining Prince Harry in the “legal offensive” are Elton John and his husband David Furnish, Elizabeth Hurley, actress Sadie Frost, and Baroness Doreen Lawrence, the mother of the late Stephen Lawrence.
The six individuals claim in the statement that they “have become aware of compelling and highly distressing evidence that they have been the victims of abhorrent criminal activity and gross breaches of privacy by Associated Newspapers.” Prince Harry and Frost are being represented by Hamlins LLP, while other participants are represented by gunnercooke.
According to the statement, the group has filed a lawsuit alleging that these unlawful practices include the placement of listening devices in their cars and homes by private investigators, the surreptitious recording of private telephone calls, the payment of police “with corrupt links to private investigators” for sensitive information, impersonation to obtain medical information from hospitals and care facilities and illicit manipulation into accessing bank accounts, credit histories and other financial transactions.
“It is apparent to these individuals that the alleged crimes listed above represent the tip of the iceberg — and that many other innocent people remain unknowing victims of similar terrible and reprehensible covert acts,” the release says. “They have now therefore banded together to uncover the truth, and to hold the journalists responsible fully accountable, many of whom still hold senior positions of authority and power today.”
“These individuals have been the subject of public interest during the course of their careers and personal lives. They are united in their desire to live in a world where the press operates freely, yet responsibly. A press that represents truth, is sourced in fact and can be trusted to operate ethically and in the interests of the British public,” it concludes.
Variety reports that three lawsuits were filed Thursday in London’s High Court against Associated Newspapers by Gunnercooke, citing “misuse of private information.” According to the outlet, the lawsuits filed by Prince Harry and Frost, the ex-wife of Jude Law, have not yet surfaced in legal records.
Over the summer, Prince Harry won the first stage of a separate lawsuit against Associated Newspapers. In July, a High Court judge in London paved the way for the prince to take his libel claim to trial when he ruled that a Mail on Sunday article about the royal’s legal battle with the British government over his police protection in the country was defamatory.
The Duke of Sussex was suing the publishing group for libel over an article that alleged he tried to keep the details of his legal fight to reinstate his police protection in the U.K. secret, and that his aides had then tried to put a positive spin on it.
The article, published online and in print in February, was titled: “How Harry tried to keep his legal fight over bodyguards secret … then minutes after MoS broke story his PR machine tried to put positive spin on the dispute.”
In other litigation against the newspaper group, his wife Meghan Markle previously received a symbolic £1 ($1.36) in damages from the Mail on Sunday after successfully winning her legal case against the paper for publishing a personal letter she sent to her father Thomas Markle in 2018.