Prince Harry scores big payout in phone hacking settlement

London, UK - Prince Harry on Friday settled a long-running legal claim against Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN), nearly two months after a UK judge ruled he had been a victim of phone hacking by its tabloid titles.

Prince Harry settled his lawsuit against Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) on Friday.
Prince Harry settled his lawsuit against Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) on Friday.  © IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

The Duke of Sussex sued MGN – which publishes The Mirror, Sunday Mirror, and Sunday People – alleging its journalists were linked to deceptive and unlawful methods, including phone hacking.

The high court judge ruled in the duke's favor in December after finding evidence of such practices relating to 15 of the 33 sample articles that Harry had submitted in the case.

Judge Timothy Fancourt said Harry's personal phone had been targeted between 2003 and 2009 and that the 15 articles were "the product of phone hacking... or the product of other unlawful information gathering".

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He concluded that phone hacking had been "widespread and habitual" at MGN titles in the late 1990s but that the duke's phone had only been tapped to a "modest extent." The judge awarded him $177,300 in damages.

Harry's legal claim had included a further 115 articles, and they might have become the subject of a further trial.

Following a High Court hearing Friday morning, his lawyer, David Sherborne, confirmed a settlement had been reached between the duke and MGN to end the outstanding parts of his claim.

Prince Harry targeted in phone hacking by MGN journalists

It will pay him "a substantial additional sum by way of damages and all the costs of his claim," he said. Sherborne added that this included an interim payment towards the costs of $505,200.

Harry, the younger son of King Charles III, became the first British royal in over a century to take to the witness stand when he gave evidence in the trial.

He brought the case alongside similar claims by two actors and the ex-wife of a comedian, with two of those cases being dismissed because they were made too late.

An MGN spokesperson said: "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."

Cover photo: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

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