Prince Harry has been awarded “substantial” further damages in the remaining part of his phone hacking claim against Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN), the Duke of Sussex’s barrister has told a court, as the prince hits out at former Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan
In the past few minutes, London’s High Court has heard that MGN, which publishes The Daily Mirror against which Harry said he was the victim of more than 140 instances of illegal news gathering, has settled with the prince. MGN will make a costs payment of around £400,000 ($500,000), the BBC reported, with further costs to be assessed.
Harry was previously awarded £140,000 in damages after a court ruled he was the victim of phone hacking by the group. The court found in December that 15 of 33 sample articles were the “product of phone hacking … or other unlawful information gathering.”
The BBC reported that the judge also criticized the “extremely confrontational way” the two sides had approached the legal battle, which had been rumbling for a while.
Harry was by no means the only claimant and there were around 100 others, including the likes of Corrie actors Michael Turner and Nikkie Sanderson. Sources for the claimants told the BBC that MGN’s combined legal bill would be around £2m.
“We welcomed December’s judgment that gave the business the necessary clarity to move forward from events that took place many years ago,” said an MGN statement.
“Where historical wrongdoing took place, we apologise unreservedly, have taken full responsibility and paid compensation. 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 apologised.”
Harry has been engulfed in multiple such legal battles of late. Last month, he dropped a libel claim against the publisher of the Mail on Sunday over an article relating to his security arrangements, which cost him hundreds of thousands of pounds. The Prince and a group including Elton John are suing the same publisher over allegations of unlawful information gathering, which a judge recently ruled can go to trial.
Piers Morgan “knew perfectly well what was going on”
In Harry’s statement, read out by his barrister, he accused former Daily Mirror editor Morgan of knowing “perfectly well what was going on” regarding phone hacking.
“Even his own employer realised it simply could not call him as a witness of truth at the trial,” Harry’s statement read. “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 judgement.”
Harry also reiterated calls for the police to open an investigation into mirror group.
Morgan and Harry have been feuding for years and Morgan has been openly critical of both the prince and his wife, Meghan Markle.
Morgan was in the news yesterday after he announced he would be ending his Talk TV linear show and moving to YouTube.