Prince Harry awarded partial victory in Mirror Group phone hacking lawsuit

Britain's Prince Harry won a partial victory and the Mirror Newspaper Group on Friday. File Photo by Andy Rain/EPA-EFE
Britain's Prince Harry won a partial victory and the Mirror Newspaper Group on Friday. File Photo by Andy Rain/EPA-EFE

Dec. 15 (UPI) -- A British High Court judge granted Prince Harry a partial victory in his lawsuit against Mirror Group Newspapers.

The court ruled that 15 of 33 articles by the Daily Mirror publisher from 2006 to 2011 came from "extensive" hacking of his phone or other illegal methods.


Harry was awarded more than $179,000 for "distress" caused by the articles written from illegally gathered information, which also included phone hacking "to a modest extent" from late 2003 through April 2009 monitored by senior individuals at Mirror Group outlets.

Harry's attorney David Sherborne praised the ruling which marked one of the most significant victories by a royal against the British press.

"Today is a great day for truth, as well as accountability," said. "The court has ruled that unlawful and criminal activities were carried out at all three Mirror group newspaper titles -- the Mirror, the Sunday Mirror and the People -- on a habitual and widespread basis for over more than a decade."

The Mirror Group had argued the articles came from legitimate sources, such as press releases, adding that Harry's claims were "wildly overstated" and were "total speculation" It said the royal did not provide definitive proof of the hacking allegations.


A spokeswoman, however, said the publisher welcomed the ruling that provided it "the necessary clarity to move forward from events that took place many years ago."

"Where historical wrongdoing took place, we apologize unreservedly, have taken full responsibility and paid appropriate compensation," the spokeswoman said.

Prince Harry said in testimony that he suffered from a breach of his privacy that had undermined his relationships, such as with ex-girlfriend Chelsy Davy.

"For my whole life, the press has misled me and covered up the wrongdoing," Harry said.

Prince Harry was the first royal in 130 years to appear on the witness stand in Britain as he went on the offensive against the British press. The Daily Mirror and Sunday Mirror printed numerous stories on the prince and Davy during their relationship, his family, military service, and alleged drug use that the prince charged was gathered illegally.

Latest Headlines