Update on Prince Harry’s battle against the tabloids

Update on Prince Harry’s battle against the tabloids

2023-06-05 12:10:55

This is the first time in over a century that a member of the royalty British finds himself at the bar of a court. THE prince Harry is expected this week London in a lawsuit against a tabloid which he accuses, alongside other personalities, of having gathered information in an illicit manner. But what are we talking about? What relationship does Harry have with the press? 20 Minutes takes stock for you.

What is this lawsuit about?

Prince Harry and the other plaintiffs accuse the publisher of the Daily Mirror of having resorted to illicit means to gather information, including hacking into telephone messages, between 1995 and 2001. The group Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) – which in addition to the Daily Mirror publishes its Sunday and people editions – admitted at the start of the trial in its written conclusions “some evidence” of illegal information gathering.

MGN apologized “unreservedly” and promised that this situation would “never” happen again. The publisher’s lawyer, Andrew Green, on the other hand, rejected the accusations of interception of voice messages and brushed aside certain accusations, highlighting the age of the facts, which date back to a time when the group had other leaders. . Prince Harry is expected at the High Court on Monday, his testimony is due on Tuesday.

Why is this testimony exceptional?

It is very rare for a “royal” to end up in a trial in the UK. The last appearance of a member of the royal family in court dates back to 2002, when Princess Anne, aunt of Harry, was fined after a bite from her bull terrier inflicted on two children in Windsor Park. But having pleaded guilty, she had not had to testify. The last royal appearance at the helm actually dates back to 1890 and the future Edward VII for a libel trial.

Prince Harry’s last appearance in the UK dates back to his whirlwind trip for his father’s coronation on May 6. A visit came after weeks of speculation in the wake of the storm of the publication of his memoirs in January, in which he recounts, among other things, the breakdown of his relationship with his father and his brother William, as well as his use of drugs in his turbulent youth.

What relationship does Prince Harry have with the press?

Prince Harry has always had a contentious relationship with the press. He blames her for his mother’s death. Dianawho lost his life in a car accident, chased by paparazzi in 1997. Exiled in California with his wife Meghan and in trouble with the rest of the British royal family, he initiated a series of legal proceedings against British newspapers.

Harry had also cited the behavior of the media vis-à-vis his wife among the factors which led him to leave the United Kingdom and withdraw from the British monarchy. In a sign of the intensity of the tension between Harry and the press, Harry and Meghan’s spokesperson claimed last month that the couple had been “chased” To New York by “very aggressive paparazzi”. An episode that revived the memory of the death of Lady Di.

What other lawsuits are pending?

Prince Harry – and other celebrities including Elton John – is engaged in a similar legal battle against Associated Newspaper (ANL), the publisher of the Daily Mail. He had created the surprise at the end of March by appearing at a preliminary hearing relating to this case, in which ANL is accused of having used illicit methods to unearth information, for example by hiring detectives, by wiretapping telephone calls or pretending to be someone else in order to obtain medical data. ANL denies en bloc and the judgment has not yet been rendered.

This is not the only case in which the press group is being sued by Prince Harry. He also accuses the publisher of Daily Mail of defamation after an article concerning his police protection when he traveled to the United Kingdom. According to Harry’s defence, the February 2022 article falsely accused the Duke of Sussex of ‘lying’ and ‘trying to keep secret’ his appeal to the government to try to get police protection in the country. Harry and his wife Meghan Markle having left the Royal Family and the UK, they are no longer entitled to police protection at the expense of the British taxpayer. Harry has offered to cover these costs while in the UK, which has so far been refused.

Finally, Harry is suing News Group Newspapers (NGN), the publisher of the Sun and of News of the World now missing, accusing him of also illegally gathering information. NGN, part of the media mogul’s empire Rupert Murdoch, rejects the accusations and requests the abandonment of the proceedings, judging them too late. In documents submitted to the court, Harry explains the delays in initiating proceedings by a “secret agreement” concluded between NGN and Prince William, Harry’s brother with whom he has a notoriously degraded relationship. NGN denies such an agreement.

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