Why Prince Harry, Elton John and Other Celebrities Are Suing Group of UK Newspapers


Prince Harry has unexpectedly appeared at the High Court in London, UK, for a preliminary hearing in a breach of privacy case.

The Duke of Sussex is suing Associated Newspapers, which owns The Daily Mail and The Mail On Sunday, over allegations that it has been the target of wiretapping and other illegalities.

Harry went to court on Monday morning (27/3), while singer Elton John, who is also involved in the process, arrived at lunchtime.

The Associated Newspapers group says the allegations are “absurd libel” and wants to close the case without going to trial.

A four-day preliminary hearing, which began on Monday, will consider the legal arguments, and a judge will decide whether the case will go forward.

Prince Harry’s appearance could be seen as a sign that he is determined to protect his privacy.

Actresses Sadie Frost and Liz Hurley, Elton John’s husband David Furnish and Baroness Doreen Lawrence, mother of Stephen Lawrence, who was murdered in a racist attack in 1993, are also among those who allege the company made a illegal collection of information.

The group filed suit last year after becoming aware of “compelling and highly distressing evidence that they were victims of abhorrent criminal activity and gross violations of privacy” by Associated Newspapers, according to a press release released by Hamlins law firm. in October 2022.


ANL lawyer Adrian Beltrami said in writing that the legal measures were taken too late and are “obsolete”.

David Sherborne, the attorney for the plaintiffs’ group, stated in writing that his clients “alleged that, in different ways, they were victims of various illegal acts carried out by the defendant or by those who acted on the instructions of their newspapers”.

Sherborne said the alleged illegal activity included “illegally intercepting voicemail messages, eavesdropping on live phone calls, obtaining private information such as detailed phone bills or medical records, by mistake or intentionally, using private investigators to commit these acts illegal collection of information on their behalf and even authorizing trespassing on private property”.

He added that all of this would have taken place “from 1993 to 2011, continuing through 2018”.

The Duke of Sussex sat at the back of the courtroom, occasionally making notes in a small black notebook as legal arguments were presented.

Sadie Frost was sitting two chairs away from him.

The Supreme Court was also informed that Elton John and David Furnish’s landline phone at their Windsor home was reportedly tapped by a private investigator on orders from Associated Newspapers.

Documents filed in the couple’s name, made available to the media on Monday, indicate that, in addition to having their landline phone tapped, the singer’s personal assistant and the couple’s gardener would also have been targets of espionage.

Sherborne said in writing in the petition, “The plaintiffs are outraged that the Associated engaged in these unlawful and unlawful acts to publish unlawful articles about them.”

“They are also horrified to consider that all their conversations, some of which were very personal, were recorded and treated as a commercial product for journalists and other unknowns, regardless of whether they were published or not.”

“The pain remains the same, knowing that their lives were treated like a commodity and their precious, priceless moments of privacy degraded in this way.”

Sherborne continued: “In particular, they consider their home to be a sacred space.”

“To know now that this has been ruthlessly invaded, their home so violated, and their family and loved ones targeted, all through illegal acts designed to steal and exploit their information, is inexcusable for them.”


The Supreme Court heard that Elton John and her husband had not seen a copy of their first child’s birth certificate before it was illegally obtained by the media company.

Sherborne told the court, “Plaintiffs found it particularly disturbing to understand the deliberate tactics employed by the Associated to circumvent the confidentiality and ethical protections accorded to medical information.”

“They were shocked by the illegal reports published about the first applicant whose information was obtained in this way.”

“Even worse was Associated’s illegal obtaining of their first child’s birth certificate, before they had even seen a copy themselves,” the attorney said.

“They were heartbroken by the derogatory headline the Associated used in the airing, clearly calculated to profit and generate public outcry over an event they had so carefully protected to maintain its value.”

Sherborne added: “The fact that these illegal reporting, which causes so much disruption, was carried out through illegal acts that all along were deliberately hidden from them infuriated them.”


In written arguments on behalf of Associated Newspapers, company lawyers cited documents filed in Harry’s name.

Lawyer Adrian Beltrami said Harry points out that the “publication of illegal reports by Associated” had caused “suspicion and paranoia” in the prince.

“As a result, friendships were lost or severed, and everyone became ‘suspicious’ as he was led to believe by the way the articles were written that people close to him were the source of this information given to the Associated newspapers.”

Beltrami added: “He stated that ‘the repeated and unfair disclosures without explanation of private and confidential information relating to his private and family life had a serious and profound effect’ and that he had ‘painful memories’ regarding this disclosure.”

In a statement released in October, Associated Newspapers said: “We fully and unequivocally refute these preposterous slurs which appear to be nothing more than a pre-planned and orchestrated attempt to drag Mail headlines into the wiretapping scandal relating to articles by up to 30 years ago”.

The company said the allegations are “baseless and highly defamatory – based on no credible evidence”.

The Duke’s court appearance is believed to be his first trip to the UK since Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral last September. He lives in the United States.

His surprise return comes nearly three months after he divulged his troubled relationship with his father King Charles III and his brother Prince William in his controversial autobiography. what’s left.

The Duke and his wife, the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, also released a documentary on Netflix in December entitled “Harry & Meghan“, regarding these conflicts.

King Charles III was due to start on Monday for the first official state visit of his reign, but the trip to France was canceled due to protests across the country over pension reform.

He is due to leave for a state visit to Germany on Wednesday morning (29). Buckingham Palace said he was not in Windsor or London on Monday.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been asked to vacate their UK home, Frogmore Cottage, on the Windsor estate, in a move sanctioned by the King.

The Duke is also taking legal action against the Home Office over security measures taken while he is in the UK, raising questions about the very security measures being taken during this visit.

– This text was originally published here.

Source: Folha

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