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Prince Harry’s many legal battles with the press

Prince Harry has had a turbulent relationship with the media and holds the press responsible for the death of his mother Princes Diana, who died in a Paris car crash in 1997 as she fled from paparazzi.

Harry and his wife Meghan in 2020 stepped back from royal duties and relocated to California, in part blaming media attention for the move.

The prince has vowed to make reforming the British media his life’s mission and has waged several battles with British tabloids over privacy concerns.

Here is a breakdown of his ongoing court cases:

Harry is among a number of celebrity claimants seeking damages from Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) over unlawful information-gathering, including phone hacking, at its titles.

His is one of four representative cases selected for a trial that will also help the court decide the level of damages if their claim is successful.

MGN, which published The Mirror, The Sunday Mirror and The Sunday People, at the start of the trial admitted “some evidence” of unlawful information gathering, including for a story about Harry.

But it has denied all accusations of voicemail interception and argued that some of the claims have been brought too late.

Several claimants, including Harry and pop star Elton John, are taking legal action against the publisher of the Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday tabloids over alleged breaches of privacy.

They accuse Associated Newspapers (ANL) of methods such as hiring private investigators, tapping phone calls and impersonating individuals to obtain medical information for articles.

Lawyers for the claimants said the alleged unlawful acts were carried out from 1993 to 2011, but some took place as late as 2018.

ANL has dismissed the allegations, arguing the case should not go to trial. A ruling is expected at a later date.

In another lawsuit against the Daily Mail publisher, Harry is bringing a libel claim over an article about his separate legal battle with the British government over security arrangements while in the UK.

The article published by The Mail on Sunday newspaper in February 2022 suggested that Harry tried to keep the legal challenge a secret.

ANL is arguing the article did not cause “serious” reputational harm and expressed an “honest opinion”.

Harry’s legal team have asked the court to dismiss ANL’s defence or deliver a judgment in his favour without going to trial.

A judgment is expected at a later date.

Harry is suing News Group Newspapers (NGN), part of Rupert Murdoch’s global media empire, for unlawful information-gathering.

The publisher of tabloids The Sun and the now-defunct News of the World is asking the court to throw out the claims without trial, arguing they were brought too late.

But in documents submitted to court Harry claims the delay in filing a lawsuit against NGN stems from a “secret agreement” between the royal family as an institution and the publisher.

Source: BBC

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