UNITED KINGDOM: According to Prince Harry, members of the UK royal family secretly agreed not to prosecute newspapers for phone hacking because doing so would “open a can of worms.” Harry claimed that his own family had kept press snooping information from him and that they had raised him to accept the idea that they shouldn’t dare challenge the British newspaper business.
He claimed in records submitted to the high court that the Sun’s publisher, News Group Newspapers (NGN), and the royal family, which he refers to as “the institution,” had a private agreement.
“The Institution was without a doubt withholding information from me for a long time about NGN’s phone hacking, and that has only become clear in recent years as I have pursued my own claim with different legal advice and representation.”
In addition to NGN and the Mirror’s publisher, Harry is now suing Associated Newspapers, which owns the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday.
He says that the company’s newspapers illegally spied on him by intercepting his voicemails, tapping his landlines, and getting his credit card information.
He talked about a little-known girlfriend from his time at Eton named Laura Gerard-Leigh. He said that stories in the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday about his private life as a young man had made him very upset and paranoid.
“It led to Laura’s parents being doorstepped, which they were understandably not pleased about. This sort of thing caused me to try and keep matters as private as I could to avoid this happening.” Harry is one of seven people who have sued the Mail’s publisher for breaking the law to get news stories.
The allegations have been called “preposterous smears” and a “pre-planned and orchestrated attempt to drag the Mail titles into the phone-hacking scandal,” according to Associated Newspapers.
Harry went to court in central London for a second day so he could hear details about how his legal team got certain pieces of information.
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