By our entertainment editors
Nov 10, 2023 at 1:07 PM Update: 27 minutes ago
The privacy lawsuit brought by Prince Harry and Elton John against publisher Associated Newspapers Limited continues. The High Court in London ruled this on Friday. It is not the first time that the prince has taken the tabloid press to court.
The prince and five other well-known Britons have sued the publisher over publications by the tabloids The Mail on Sunday and Daily Mail. In addition to the prince and singer, the group consists of actresses Elizabeth Hurley and Sadie Frost, filmmaker and Elton John’s partner David Furnish and Doreen Lawrence, the mother of a black teenager who was murdered in 1993.
According to the group, Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL) used at least nineteen private investigators for a series of “illegal acts” between 1993 and 2011. In some cases this resulted in damaging news articles.
Violation of privacy with eavesdropping equipment
The publisher is said to have eavesdropped on them and installed equipment in cars and houses for this purpose. A statement from law firm Hamlins spoke of “abhorrent criminal activity”.
The publisher denies all allegations. A spokesperson for Associated Newspapers even calls them ridiculous. He says the plaintiffs and their lawyers appear to be angling for information with “unsubstantiated and highly defamatory claims, which are not based on credible evidence.”
Earlier this year, ANL tried to have the lawsuit dismissed. The British prince, who lives in the US, was present at several hearings in London. Elton John also appeared in court, where the judge considered the arguments of both parties. The court has now decided that the case will actually be dealt with substantively.
Previous lawsuits against ANL
It is not the first time that Harry has faced ANL in court. For example, the prince previously sued the publisher because of an article about the security of him and his family. According to Harry, there was defamation in the article that appeared in the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday.
His wife Meghan also sued the publisher for publishing a handwritten letter to her father Thomas Markle in the Mail on Sunday. Meghan won the lawsuit and The Mail on Sunday was forced to apologize by the judge. She also received compensation, which she then donated to charity.
Harry versus the tabloids
The prince already took another publisher to court last year. He accused Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) of illegally tapping telephone conversations. He is demanding damages of up to 320,000 pounds (more than 370,000 euros) from the publisher of tabloids such as the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and Sunday People.
Harry claims to have been hacked by telephone by employees of gossip newspaper The Mirror. He said it started when he was in high school and ended around 2010. MGN denies that any phones were hacked. The publisher does say that it has commissioned a private detective to collect information about a night the prince spent in a nightclub in 2004.
“It was a downward spiral in which the tabloids constantly tried to persuade me, a ‘damaged’ young man, to do something stupid for a good story that would sell well,” he said in his statement in court.