Prince William Got “Very Large Sum” in Secret Phone Hacking Settlement, Say Lawyers
As Prince Harry’s lawyers gear up for a lawsuit with News Group Newspapers, they claim the company settled with Prince William in secret.
Prince Harry is currently embroiled in a lawsuit involving Murdoch’s News Group Newspapers (NGN), in which he’s accused the organization of illegal phone hacking. As he waits to see if his case will go to trial, Sky News reveals that the royal’s lawyer found evidence that Prince William may have received a secret payment from the same company not too long ago.
Documents uncovered by Harry’s legal team, which were submitted to the High Court in London as evidence to support the case, alleged that the Duke of Cambridge settled “for a very large sum of money in 2020” which would prevent further legal upsets between himself and NGN.
Though Prince William was involved in a similar phone-hacking issue with the news corporation, “there was no other information regarding the alleged deal,” according to CNN — including how large of a sum he put back into his royal pocket.
NGN did not respond to CNN’s comments regarding “the suggestion that it made a confidential settlement with Prince William” but they did state that Prince Harry “ought to have brought his lawsuit sooner,” in relation to his current case.
It seems Harry is seeking justice for what are being referred to as “unlawful acts” which include cell phone and voicemail hacking. The alleged illegal gathering of information was used to produce tabloid stories for NGN publications The Sun and News of the World, and may have been collected from 1994 to 2016.
To make matters even more controversial, Harry’s lawyers allege that any agreements to shut down his case come from a “secret agreement” between the Royal Family and NGN in which the royals would not pursue legal action against the network.
The possible agreement was formulated by Queen Elizabeth II over what Sky News explained to be “reputational damage” caused by the Tampongate scandal of 1993.
A source had obtained a tapped phone conversation in which King Charles (then Prince of Wales) said he wished he could be “reincarnated as a tampon so he could live inside” his lover, Camilla Parker-Bowles. The transcript of the intimate conversation was then printed in The Sun, shocking the world as the prince was still married to Princess Diana at the time.
According to his lawyers, Harry had been informed about this agreement back in 2012. He has since attempted to reinstate his legal claims for the privacy fumble, but that the agreement kept him from gaining support in the courts.
Now that news of his brother’s own potential settlement has allegedly come to light, lawyers are hoping the lawsuit can finally be carried out appropriately.
Sky News stated that the alleged voicemail interception “affected every area” of Prince Harry’s life, as explained in his written witness statement for the case.
“It created a huge amount of paranoia in my relationships,” he added. “I would become immediately suspicious of anyone that was named in a story about me, or anyone who would benefit from that story,”
“I felt that I couldn’t trust anybody, which was an awful feeling for me especially at such a young age.”
The royal will also be heading to court after his father’s coronation in early May, to fight against the Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) on grounds of similar phone hacking attempts.