Prince Harry emerged victorious in his lawsuit against the publisher of the Daily Mirror, winning over 140,000 pounds in damages. The ruling exposed the widespread and habitual nature of phone hacking at Mirror Group Newspapers, shedding light on the unscrupulous practices employed by certain British tabloids.
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Phone Hacking Revelation
Justice Timothy Fancourt, presiding over the case in the High Court, condemned the troubling revelation that private investigators were an integral part of the newspaper’s system to unlawfully gather information. The executives at the papers were found to be aware of this practice and complicit in covering it up.
Prince Harry was awarded damages for 15 out of 33 newspaper articles that resulted from unlawful information gathering, leading to the misuse of his private information. Further damages were added for the distress the Duke of Sussex suffered, as well as for aggravated damages to reflect the particular hurt and sense of outrage.
Impact on the Royal Family
The legal battle, initiated by the estranged younger son of King Charles III, marked a departure from the royal family’s aversion to litigation. It positioned Prince Harry as the first senior royal member to testify in court in over a century, spotlighting the pervasive intrusion into the personal lives of the royal family by certain sections of the media.
During his testimony in June, Prince Harry made explosive allegations, claiming that Mirror Group Newspapers had employed journalists who eavesdropped on voicemails and hired private investigators to unlawfully gather information about him and other family members.
Scale of Phone Hacking
Prince Harry asserted that phone hacking was at an industrial scale across at least three newspapers, a claim that was validated by the court. However, it was also noted that the Mirror Group was not solely responsible for all the unlawful activities directed at the Duke.
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