Prince William Settles Phone-Hacking Claim Against Rupert Murdoch’s UK Newspaper Group

Prince William Settles Phone-Hacking Claim Against Rupert Murdoch’s UK Newspaper Group

According to court documents, lawyers for Prince Harry have revealed that Prince William had settled a phone-hacking claim against Rupert Murdoch’s UK newspaper group in 2020 for a “very large sum”. The revelation came during a three-day hearing in London involving Prince Harry and actor Hugh Grant, who are suing News Group Newspapers (NGN), publisher of The Sun and the now-defunct News of the World, over alleged unlawful information gathering at its titles.

Harry’s Claims Against NGN

NGN is asking Mr Justice Fancourt to throw out both claims, arguing they have been brought too late. However, Harry’s lawyers said that it is an attempt to go behind a “secret agreement” between the Royal Family as an institution and NGN, which the duke was informed of in 2012. In documents before the court, Harry’s lawyer, David Sherborne, said the late Queen was involved in “discussions and authorisation” of the agreement, which was that members of the Royal Family would not pursue claims against NGN until after the conclusion of the litigation over hacking.

Prince Harry’s Claim

Prince Harry claims that the alleged voicemail interception “affected every area of my life”. “It created a huge amount of paranoia in my relationships. I would become immediately suspicious of anyone that was named in a story about me, or anyone who would benefit from that story,” he added. “I felt that I couldn’t trust anybody, which was an awful feeling for me especially at such a young age.” The claim is one of many legal actions currently being brought by the Duke, who appeared in person at the High Court last month for a preliminary hearing against Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL), publisher of The Mail and Mail On Sunday. He is also expected to give evidence at a trial over allegations of unlawful information against tabloid publisher Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN), due to begin next month, with Harry due to appear in court in June.

In written arguments, Sherborne said the agreement “meant that the claimant could not bring a claim against NGN for phone hacking at that time”. He added: “It was agreed directly between these parties, as opposed to their lawyers… that at the conclusion of the Mobile Telephone Voicemail Interception Litigation (MTVIL) News would admit or settle such a claim with an apology.” According to Sherborne, William has “recently settled his claim against NGN behind the scenes”. The hearing is expected to last three days, and the judge will determine whether their claims will progress to a trial due to be heard in January next year.


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