Prince Harry Says the Royal Family Withheld Information About News Group Newspapers Phone Hacking
"It is not an exaggeration to say that the bubble burst in terms of what I knew in 2020 when I moved out of the United Kingdom."
Prince Harry is now involving the royal family in his legal case against Associated Newspapers Ltd (ANL). ICYMI, the duke made a surprise appearance alongside Elton John, Elizabeth Hurley, and Jude Law's ex-wife Sadie Frost, at High Court in London on Monday for the trial against the publisher — which owns the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday — for "illegal information gathering," according to People.
On Tuesday, Harry walked into court wearing a charcoal gray suit styled with a matching tie, a white button-up, and black dress shoes. He also carried an umbrella in case of rain. On day two of the four-day hearing, Harry also submitted his witness statement, which said that he learned to adopt the family's "never-complain" policy in regard to the toxic British tabloids.
"Following the death of my mother [Princess Diana] in 1997 when I was 12 years old and her treatment at the hands of the press, I have always had an uneasy relationship with the press," he said in the document. "However, as a member of the Institution, the policy was to 'never complain, never explain.' There was no alternative; I was conditioned to accept it. For the most part, I accepted the interest in my performing my public functions."
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Harry went on to explain that once he started dating his now-wife Meghan Markle, he became "increasingly troubled by the approach of not taking action against the press in the wake of vicious persistent attacks on, harassment of and intrusive, sometimes racist articles concerning Meghan."
This isn't Harry's first time taking legal action against a publishing company. In 2018, the duke filed a claim against News Group Newspapers for phone hacking. In this new statement, Harry explained that in his own legal endeavors, he discovered some information that the firm was keeping from him.
"The Institution was without a doubt withholding information from me for a long time about NGN's phone hacking and that has only become clear in recent years as I have pursued my own claim with different legal advice and representation," he said. "It is not an exaggeration to say that the bubble burst in terms of what I knew in 2020 when I moved out of the United Kingdom."
He continued, "To this day, there are members of the Royal Family and friends of mine who may have been targeted by NGN and I have no idea whether they have or have not brought claims," he continued. "There was never any centralised discussion between us about who had brought claims as each office in the Institution is siloed. There is this misconception that we are all in constant communication with one another but that is not true."
Despite putting the institution on blast, Harry really only wants the press to be held accountable at the end of the day. "I am bringing this claim because I love my country and I remain deeply concerned by the unchecked power, influence, and criminality of Associated," he concluded. "The evidence I have seen shows that Associated's journalists are criminals with journalistic powers which should concern every single one of us. The British public deserve to know the full extent of this cover-up, and I feel it is my duty to expose it."
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