Prince Harry to sue 2 UK tabloids over alleged phone hacking
LONDON (AP) — Prince Harry is suing The Sun and the Daily Mirror, two of Britain’s most popular tabloid newspapers, over alleged phone hacking.
Buckingham Palace confirmed Saturday that claims regarding “illegal interception of voicemail messages” were filed on Harry’s behalf. The palace declined to say more or provide details “given the particulars of the claims are not yet public.”
News Group Newspapers, which owns The Sun and the now defunct News of the World, acknowledged the prince’s High Court action while Reach, which owns the Mirror, said it was “aware that proceedings have been issued” but hasn’t yet received notice of them.
The cases escalate Harry’s fight with the British tabloids. It comes days after his American wife, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, sued the Mail on Sunday for alleged copyright infringement, misuse of private information and violating the U.K.’s data protection law after the paper published a letter she wrote to her father.
Harry then lambasted British tabloids after Meghan filed her lawsuit on Tuesday, saying in a statement that his wife’s lawsuit, which was months in the making, was a response to a “ruthless campaign” to smear her by creating “lie after lie at her expense” during her maternity leave.
The prince accused the British media of hounding Meghan the way it did his mother, Princess Diana, who died in a 1997 car crash while trying to elude paparazzi.
British tabloid newspapers have paid millions of dollars to settle claims that their employees had hacked the phone voicemails of celebrities, politicians and others in the public eye.
The prince’s lawsuits likely date back years. The News of the World was shut down in 2011, at the height of the hacking scandal and when its former editors later went on trial, a court heard evidence that indicated Harry along with his old brother, Prince William, were targets of the paper’s illicit interception of phone messages.
A transcript of one of the messages read at the trial came from a 2006 recording of William pretending to be Harry’s girlfriend at the time, revealing the extent of media intrusion into their lives.
Harry and William have long had a strained relationship with the press. They grew up in the spotlight and were young boys when their parents’ acrimonious divorce received wall-to-wall coverage.