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Prince Harry's Lawyers Claim Prince William Received A 'Very Large Sum' In 'Secret' Phone Hacking Settlement

Prince Harry's Lawyers Claim Prince William Received a 'Very Large Sum' in Phone Hacking Settlement

One more reason for Prince Harry to be mad at Prince William!

In a shocking twist to the Duke of Sussex’s legal battle against News Group Newspaper, his lawyers just claimed the heir to the throne quietly received a “very large sum of money” in a settlement with the publisher in 2020.

This revelation came to light on Tuesday in the High Court of Justice in London as part of a three-day hearing that will determine whether Harry’s suit against the publisher of The Sun and the now-defunct News of the World goes to trial next year, per Sky News. This is just one of many lawsuits the Spare author now has filed against various British press.

Related: Prince Harry ‘Very Nervous’ To Attend King Charles’ Coronation — Here’s Why!

According to a witness statement obtained by People, the 38-year-old is suing NGN over unlawful information gathering, dating back “as early as 1994 until at least 2016.” Per his legal team, he was allegedly a victim of phone voicemail hacking and private investigators hired by the company, who were tasked with illegally gathering information about his life.

The media organization has asked the judge to throw out the case, arguing the claims were brought too late. Responding to this filing, Harry’s legal team clapped back and said the royal family previously made a deal with the company — restricting him from bringing the claim earlier!

In the witness statement, the lawyers argue NGN had a “secret agreement” in place with the royal family, making it so those within the institution would not bring forward a claim against the publisher. Apparently, the Archewell founder was informed of this in 2012. The document stated:

“It was agreed directly between these parties (as opposed to their lawyers, as the correspondence so far provided by NGN demonstrates) that at the conclusion of the Mobile Telephone Voicemail Interception Litigation (‘MTVIL’), News would admit or settle such a claim with an apology.”

Per the papers, Harry received permission from his late grandmother Queen Elizabeth II to pursue legal action against NGN in 2017. The filing went on:

“In 2017, the Claimant and the Institution began to push for the outstanding claim to be resolved. However, News filibustered in relation to this until, in 2019, the Claimant had enough and issued his claim.”

Now, the lawyers are claiming the Prince of Wales did a similar thing — and the publisher didn’t bat an eye at it! Instead, he walked away with a bunch of money, much unlike Harry (so far). The attorneys wrote:

“[William] similarly brought a claim against NGN which it settled for a very large sum of money in 2020 without bringing any strike out/summary judgment application on limitation‚Ķ The settlement of his brother’s claim once more supports the contention that there was a Secret Agreement in place.”

Sounds like Harry is trying to force the publisher to play fair! We’ll have to see if it works…

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As of now, it is unclear what amount William allegedly settled for or what the issue was related to, per the BBC. In a March witness statement, Harry argued the secret agreement was put in place so that the royal family would keep any issues with NGN private in an effort to avoid a scandal:

“The rationale behind this was that a secret agreement had been reached between the institution and senior executives at NGN whereby members of the Royal Family would bring phone hacking claims only at the conclusion of the Mobile Telephone Voicemail Interception Litigation and at that stage the claims would be admitted or settled with an apology. The reason for this was to avoid the situation where a member of the Royal Family would have to sit in the witness box and recount the specific details of the private and highly sensitive voicemails that had been intercepted by Clive Goodman [former reporter for News of the World].”

Referring to intercepted phone calls between King Charles III and Queen Camilla, while the monarch was still with Princess Diana, the father of two continued:

“The institution was incredibly nervous about this and wanted to avoid at all costs the sort of reputational damage that it had suffered in 1993 when The Sun and another tabloid had unlawfully obtained and published details of an intimate telephone conversation that took place between my father and step-mother in 1989, while he was still married to my mother.”

While the rest of the royal family is scared of lawsuits, Harry isn’t! He is currently in litigation against two other publishers. First, there’s Associated Newspapers, publisher of the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday. He already showed up in London to be in the courtroom for some of the hearings. Then there’s the battle against Mirror Group Newspapers, publisher of Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror, and Daily Express, for which he is expected to testify in June.

As for this case, the judge is expected to determine whether his claims against NGN will move to a trial after this three-day hearing ends. If Harry is victorious, the legal battle would continue in January 2024. Thoughts?!

[Image via MEGA/WENN]

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Apr 25, 2023 13:35pm PDT