Paul Burrell, former butler and confidant of Princess Diana, has received an apology and compensation from the editor of the tabloid The Daily Mirror for hacking his phone’s mailbox, sources close said on Tuesday (20). The amount of compensation was not specified.
In London’s High Court, Mirror Group Newspapers accepted responsibility for the hack between 1995 and 2008. It began around the time of Lady Diana’s divorce from current King Charles III and lasted well beyond the Princess’s death in 1997 in Paris.
Offering his client’s “sincere apologies”, the lawyer for this media group, Alexander Vakil, acknowledged “the suffering caused by obtaining private information and access to his voice mail”.
In the early 2000s, the British press was rocked by a massive messaging scandal that led to the closure of the News of the World in 2011, while the Mirror was ordered, in 2015, to pay record damages to a number of celebrities.
Today, Paul Burrell’s lawyer, Francis Leonard, highlighted the effects of the illegal wiretapping: “In Diana’s life, the activities of the accused provoked the deterioration of the relationship (between Burrell and the Princess), as she believed, wrongly, that he leaked highly sensitive personal information to the press”.
The eavesdropping would also have strained his relations with his defense, when he was accused of stealing hundreds of Diana’s personal items when she died. He was acquitted of these charges.
In addition to listening to his voicemail, private investigators were hired at least three times by the Mirror to obtain information from the former butler, his defense said.
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