Royal Family

Prince Harry settles phone-hacking claim with Mirror Group with 'substantial' payout


The litigation between the Duke of Sussex and the publishing group has lasted for four years

Prince Harry in Auckland, New Zealand, in October 2018.
Prince Harry in Auckland, New Zealand, in October 2018.SHUTTERSTOCK

The Duke of Sussex has settled his privacy invasion lawsuit against the Mirror Group of Newspapers (MGN) for their illicit methods, in an out-of-court agreement announced in London this Friday (February 9). Prince Harry was not present in the final session resolving the lawsuit, which took place in the High Court of England and Wales, but conveyed a defiant note of victory through his British lawyer, David Sherborne.

The prince referred to the "extremely damaging judgment" of the court from last December and renewed pressure against former Mirror editor and notorious TV presenter, Piers Morgan, for his alleged involvement in the so-called "dark arts" practiced in MGN newsrooms.

"As an editor, he knew perfectly well what was going on," accused Harry from the United States. "Everything we said was happening in the Mirror Group did indeed happen, and it was even worse," he added.

Morgan, who did not testify in court and protests his innocence on social media and traditional media, in turn accuses the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Meghan, of invading the privacy of the royal family with sensational disclosures made in their biographical projects.

Meanwhile, Sherborne did not disclose the details of the agreement, which ends four years of litigation against MGN. He only confirmed that the prince will receive an additional preliminary compensation of £400,000 (about $505,100), plus coverage for his legal expenses. In December, he was compensated with about $176,800.

Both parties avoid a second trial concerning over a hundred articles published between 1996 and 2009, sourced and containing content of questionable legitimacy, according to the accusation. Harry personally testified in the court sessions that led to the individual and collective victory in the case against the Mirror.

This week he visited his father, King Charles III, who is undergoing cancer treatment, but barely spent 24 hours in England. Last night he presented a sports award at a ceremony in Las Vegas.

Finally, this Friday, the Duke reaffirmed the "mission" he has undertaken to clean up and hold accountable the sensationalist British media. "I believe in the positive change it can bring to us all. It's the reason I launched it and the reason I will continue until the end," he stated in his release.

Lawsuits launched individually or collectively by Harry for alleged crimes such as hacking of private communications, espionage, or illicit intrusion against two major media groups, the publishers of the Mail and The Sun, are still in the process of being processed. The public battle continues.