Take action. Prince Harry and more high-profile celebs have filed a lawsuit against U.K. tabloid publishers, accusing them of conducting “unlawful acts” for profit.
According to a press releaseOn Thursday, October 6, 38-year-old Duke of Sussex was officially joined Elizabeth Hurley, Sir Elton JohnHe is his husband. David Furnish, and more in launching legal action. The group has alleged Associated Newspapers, publishers of the Daily Mail, Mail on SundayAnd Mail Online, of invading privacy
“These individuals have become aware of compelling and highly distressing evidence that they have been the victims of abhorrent criminal activity and gross breaches of privacy by Associated Newspapers,” the release states.
The company has allegedly hired private investigators “to secretly place listening devices inside people’s cars and homes,” paid off “corrupt” police officers for inside scoops and personal information, impersonated others to gain access to medical records and used “manipulation” to view financial histories, among other accusations.
Harry and his colleagues claimed that the actions listed were only “the tip of the iceberg” when it comes to the business’ “reprehensible” and “illicit” behavior. According to the release, the legal steps were taken in hopes of “uncover[ing] the truth” and holding the publishers “fully accountable” for their alleged wrongdoing.
“These individuals have been the subject of public interest during the course of their careers and personal lives,” the statement continues. “They are united in their desire to live in a world where the press operates freely, yet responsibly. A press that represents truth, is sourced in fact and can be trusted to operate ethically and in the interests of the British people.”
The prince has been vocal in his criticism of British tabloids throughout the years. He has been particularly vocal when it comes the treatment of Meghan Markle, his wife. In October 2019, Harry released a lengthy statement in which he compared the two. Suits alum’s “private suffering” to the intense scrutiny his late mother, Princess Diana, experienced before her 1997 death.
“My deepest fear is history repeating itself,” he wrote. “I’ve seen what happens when someone I love is commoditized to the point that they are no longer treated or seen as a real person. I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces.”
A source told the story exclusively at the time. Us Weekly that the former military pilot was “worried that the recent escalation of press intrusion has an impact on his relationship with Meghan, as well as their relationship with the royal family and the public.” The pair weren’t bothered by “one negative story or incident” but an “accumulation,” the insider added.
In January 2020, the royal couple announced that they would be stepping down from their senior duties. They then moved to California later in the year. Buckingham Palace confirmed in February 2021, that Harry and Meghan would not resign as senior working royals.
In a CBS tell all interview, Archewell cofounders shared their story one month later. In an unaired clip, Meghan claimed that she felt abandoned by palace officials when it came to the British media’s harassment.
“If members of his family say, ‘Well, this is what happened to all of us’ … This is not the same,” she argued. “Rude and racist are not the same. And equally, you’ve also had a press team that goes on the record to defend you, especially when they know some things are not true. And that didn’t happen for us.”