By our entertainment editors
10 Nov 2023 at 13:07
The lawsuit brought by Prince Harry and Elton John against the British publisher Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL) for privacy violations may continue. The High Court of London decided this on Friday. It is not the first time that Harry has taken tabloids to court.
The prince and five other well-known Britons have sued the publisher for publications of the tabloids The Mail on Sunday and Daily Mail. In addition to the prince and the 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, ANL deployed at least nineteen different private investigators between 1993 and 2011 to carry out a series of “illegal acts”. In some cases this resulted in damaging news articles.
Privacy violation due to valve 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 thrown out. The British prince, who lives in America, was also 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, he previously sued the publisher because of an article that wrote about the security of the prince and his family. According to Harry, the article, which was published in the tabloids Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday, contained libel.
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 donated to charity.
Harry versus tabloids
The prince also 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 for years 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 has admitted that a private detective was commissioned by them to collect information about a night the prince spent in a nightclub in 2004.
“It was a downward spiral, with the tabloids constantly trying to persuade me, a ‘damaged’ young man, to do something stupid that would make a good story and sell a lot of papers,” he said in his statement in court.