Elton John, Prince Harry Privacy Lawsuit Against Daily Mail Can Go to Trial, U.K. Judge Rules

The singer and the prince are among seven plaintiffs who accuse the newspaper of hacking phones and bugging homes

LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 13: Britain's Prince Harry greets Elton John after the Royal Variety Performance at the Albert Hall on November 13, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Paul Hackett – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Prince Harry, Elton John and his husband David Furnish, actors Liz Hurley and Sadie Frost and several British politicians got the go-ahead Friday from the top British court for their lawsuit against the publisher of the Daily Mail newspaper to be heard at trial.

The ruling is a win for the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, the estranged younger son of King Charles and the other plaintiffs, who accuse Associated Newspaers, the publisher, of phone-hacking and other breaches of privacy stretching back 30 years, Reuters reported.

Harry has repeatedly accused the British press of invading his privacy and publicizing his personal challenges throughout his life, as they did his mother, Princess Diana.

The prince and the others submitted materials to the court that detailed phone taps and bugs placed in homes, along with efforts to obtain medical records by Mail journalists and 19 private investigators working for them from 1993 to 2011 and even later, the report said.

Judge Matthew Nicklin’s ruling was focused on whether the claims, brought in October 2022, were outside a six-year time limit for legal action, the report said.

“I consider that each claimant has a real prospect of demonstrating concealment by Associated that was not – and could not with reasonable diligence have been – discovered by the relevant claimant before October 2016,” Judge Matthew Nicklin said in his ruling.

Associated Newspapers denies it has used unlawful methods to collect information, and reported the results from the High Court with a different spin, pointing to parts of the case that were ruled inadmissable as a “major setback.”

Nicklin ruled that there was “significant public interest” in preventing the claimants from using confidential documents from a British government-led investigation into press practices 12 years ago, following the implosion of the Murdoch-owned “News of the World,” which was involved in a major hacking scandal, The Daily Mail reported.

Reuters desribed the documents as ledgers recording payments by ANL to private investigators.

The publisher also issued a statement that said, “As we have always made unequivocally clear, the lurid claims made by Prince Harry and others of phone-hacking, landline-tapping, burglary and sticky-window microphones are simply preposterous and we look forward to establishing this in court in due course,” Reuters reported.

A hearing is scheduled in the case for Nov. 21.

“We intend to uncover the truth at trial and hold those responsible at Associated Newspapers fully accountable,” law firm Hamlins said in a statement on behalf of Prince Harry, Elton John and Furnish, Hurley, Frost, Baroness Doreen Lawrence, and former lawmaker Simon Hughes.

In a separate case, Harry is suing Murdoch’s News Group Newspapers over claims of “blagging” confidential details about him and using other unlawful invasions of privacy. But, the judge in that case said, allegations about phone-hacking were made too late, Reuters reported.

The prince also testified in a lawsuit against Mirror Group in June, and a verdict in that case should be released soon, the report said.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.