Prince Harry gets ‘substantial’ payout in phone-hacking case against UK tabloid, lawyer says

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 7: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, leaves after giving evidence at the Mirror Group Phone hacking trial at the Rolls Building at High Court on June 7, 2023 in London, England. Prince Harry is one of several claimants in a lawsuit against Mirror Group Newspapers related to allegations of unlawful information gathering in previous decades. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

Harry gave evidence to the court in June, a highly unusual step for a British royal. 

Prince Harry will receive a “substantial” payout after settling the remaining parts of his phone-hacking case against the publisher Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN), his lawyer told the High Court in London Friday, according to the UK’s PA Media news agency.

Lawyer David Sherborne told the court that MGN, which publishes British tabloid The Daily Mirror, will pay the Duke of Sussex “a substantial additional sum by way of damages” as well as his legal costs, PA Media reported.

In December, the judge ruled that Prince Harry was the victim of phone hacking and other means of “unlawful information gathering” by MGN. The judge awarded Harry £140,600 ($177,000) in damages in the ruling.

“Everything we said was happening at Mirror Group was in fact happening, and indeed far worse, as the court ruled in its extremely damaging judgment,” Prince Harry said in a statement read by his lawyer outside court Friday.

“As the judge has said this morning, we have uncovered and proved the shockingly dishonest way the Mirror Group acted for many years and then sought to conceal the truth,” he said.

Prince Harry initially submitted 33 articles for consideration, with the judge finding that 15 stories published by MGN were based on unlawful information gathering such as phone hacking and the use of private investigators.

A further 115 articles were part of his claim, which could have been the subject of a further trial, but Prince Harry’s lawyer told the High Court on Friday that a settlement had been reached between the Duke of Sussex and MGN, according to the PA report.

The Duke of Sussex had sued the British newspaper group, which also publishes The Sunday Mirror and Sunday People, alongside three other claimants, alleging that its journalists illegally intercepted his voicemails and used other illicit means over a roughly 15-year period.

He gave evidence in court as part of the case, a virtually unprecedented move for a senior British royal.

On Friday, he took aim at Piers Morgan, the former editor of the Mirror who, Harry said, “knew perfectly well what was going on, as the judge held.”

“Even his own employer realized it simply could not call him as a witness of truth. His contempt for the court’s ruling and his continued attacks ever since demonstrate why it was so important to obtain a clear and detailed judgment,” Harry added.

“As I said back in December, our mission continues. I believe in the positive change it will bring for all of us. It is the very reason why I started this, and why I will continue to see it through to the end.”

CNN has reached out to Morgan for comment.

Morgan, who served as editor of the Daily Mirror from 1995 to 2004, has previously denied any knowledge of or involvement in illegal activity, such as phone hacking.

Following the UK High Court’s December ruling that Harry was the subject of “extensive” phone hacking, Morgan said: “I’ve never hacked a phone or told anybody else to hack a phone and nobody has produced any actual evidence to prove that I did. I wasn’t called as a witness … by either side in the case, nor was I asked to provide any statement. I would have very happily agreed to do either or both of those things had I been asked.”

Harry has railed against the tactics of the British media since splitting from the royal family in 2020, and made his case against MGN a centerpiece of his efforts to force tougher regulations on the press.

The prince made a brief visit to the UK earlier this week after his father, King Charles, revealed he had been diagnosed with cancer.

Harry then appeared at the NFL Honors award ceremony in Las Vegas on Thursday, presenting the Man of the Year award.

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