Britain’s Prince Harry recently made a visit to a London High Court hearing on Monday, appearing as a claimant in a privacy lawsuit against Associated Newspapers Limited.
The Duke of Sussex is one of a half-dozen high-profile figures who allege the newspaper publisher — which owns the Daily Mail, Mail Online and Mail on Sunday — used unlawful information-gathering tactics.
Singer Elton John and his partner, the filmmaker David Furnish, are plaintiffs in the case, as are actresses Sadie Frost and Elizabeth Hurley. A sixth plaintiff, Doreen Lawrence, is a member of Parliament whose son was killed in a racist attack.
None of the claimants are expected to speak during the four-day hearing, according to a press release from Hamlins, one of the law firms involved. It was surprise for local media to see the Duke seated next to his fellow claimant Frost in a back row of the courtroom, studiously taking notes in a black notebook.
This appears to be his first trip back to the United Kingdom since the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II in September 2022. Prince Harry and the others say they have “compelling and highly distressing evidence” that they fell victim to “abhorrent criminal activity and gross breaches of privacy,” according to a press release announcing the lawsuit.
They claim ANL:
- Hired investigators to place listening devices into homes and vehicles
- Paid police officials for access to sensitive information
- Impersonated individuals to obtain medical information from private clinics and treatment centers
- Illegally accessed bank accounts, credit histories and financial records
In a statement provided to NPR, ANL said it “categorically” denied the allegations and plans to defend itself if the trial moves forward after this week’s hearing. ANL is trying to strike down the case on two points: 1) that some of the events in question occurred before 2007, which makes it outside the statute of limitations and, 2) that the claimants themselves unlawfully obtained evidence against ANL, using material from a government report that was under a strict confidentiality ruling.