The Duke of Sussex criticizes former editor Piers Morgan in statement after settling case with Mirror Group Newspapers
For Prince Harry, his "mission" to tackle how the tabloid newspaper culture has operated in the past continues.
The Duke of Sussex, 39, received what his lawyer said was a "substantial" settlement against Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) on Friday, while the publishers will also pay around $500,000 for Harry’s legal fees.
In December, Prince Harry won over $180,000 after the presiding judge, Justice Fancourt, ruled that 15 of 33 articles at the center of Harry's claim published by MGN "were the product of phone hacking of his mobile phone or the mobile phones of his associates, or the product of other unlawful information-gathering.”
On Friday, the publishing group made an agreement to settle the remaining parts of his claim against the newspaper company, which publishes The Daily Mirror, The Sunday Mirror and The People newspapers.
Outside the court, Prince Harry’s lawyer David Sherbourne read a statement in which Harry said, “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.”
He said, “After our victory in December, Mirror Group have finally conceded the rest of my claim, which would have consisted of another two trials, additional evidence and 115 more articles.”
“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," Harry continued. “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 reiterated his call, also made last December, for the police to open an investigation – and criticized former Mirror editor Piers Morgan.
“In light of all this, we call again for the authorities to uphold the rule of law and to prove that no one is above it," he said. "That includes Mr. Morgan, who as editor, 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."
Morgan has not publicly responded. In December, he said he had "never hacked a phone or told anybody else to hack a phone."
For its part, MGN issued a statement, according to The Guardian, saying, “We are pleased to have reached this agreement, which gives our business further clarity to move forward from events that took place many years ago and for which we have apologized.”
The Duke of Sussex first filed a lawsuit against MGN in 2019, alleging that his phone voicemails were hacked using unlawful information gathering. He was one of four "representative" claimants chosen as "test cases" from a larger group of high-profile figures suing the publisher, The Independent previously reported.
The trial began in May, and King Charles’ youngest son made history in June as the first prominent member of the British royal family to give evidence in court in 130 years when he took the stand to testify against the newspaper group.
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On Thursday night, after a quick solo trip to London to see his father King Charles (for the first time since Buckingham Palace announced that the monarch was diagnosed with cancer), Prince Harry made a surprise appearance at the NFL Honors event in Las Vegas to hand out an award.
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