Britain’s heir to the throne, Prince William, received a “very large sum” from the owners of the tabloid The Sun as part of settling claims related to the wiretapping scandal, according to court documents containing testimony from Prince Harry. The younger son of King Charles III believes representatives of Buckingham Palace and News Group Newspapers have reached a “secret agreement” over the claims of members of the royal family.
The payment, expected to be made in 2020, has been revealed in court papers from Prince Harry’s lawyers as part of his lawsuit against media magnate Rupert Murdoch’s News Group Newspapers, publisher of the tabloid The Sun and the now-defunct News of the World. . Younger son King Charles III accuses the publisher of unlawful collection of information about himself.
Prince Harry’s lawyers released them in response to a motion to dismiss a lawsuit from News Group Newspapers, arguing that the time to file a wiretapping scandal claim has passed.
Prince Harry on ‘secret deal’ with tabloid publisher
According to Harry’s testimony, the owners of the publisher entered into a “secret agreement” with representatives of Buckingham Palace, under which the legal claims of members royal family were to be postponed. The alleged deal, details of which have not been disclosed in court documents, was intended to delay the king’s younger son’s filing of his own lawsuit, his lawyers said.
The prince claims he first heard of the alleged deal around 2012. He was then to learn that Palace officials had launched legal action over the phone hacks he claimed were targeting him and his brother, Prince William.
The brothers were to consult with the royal family’s lawyers who, according to Harry, told them they could not start their own business. “The rationale was that a secret agreement had been reached between the institution (the royal family – ed.) and senior management of News Group Newspapers,” the BBC wrote, quoting a statement from the prince’s legal team. NGN denied the existence of any deal.
“The reason for this was to avoid a situation where members of the royal family would have to sit as witnesses and report details of private and highly sensitive voice messages that were intercepted.”
According to Harry, there were fears at the court about a repeat of the situation from years ago, when the intimate conversation between the then heir to the throne Prince Charles and his current wife Camila, which he had while his wife was still there, was revealed princess Diana.
Even though he had support Queen Elizabeth II, Harry’s attempts to obtain an apology from the Murdoch group, he claims, were blocked. “This deal (…) was the main factor for which I did not make any claim at that time,” said the king’s younger son.
Despite this, he testified, News Group Newspapers acknowledged a private claim by Prince William, who received “a very large sum in 2020” in connection with it, without informing the public, the brother of the heir to the throne believes.
The documents do not contain information on how much Prince William was supposed to receive. Prince’s spokesman Wales He said he would not comment on pending lawsuits.
Eavesdropping scandal in Great Britain
The British tabloid wiretapping scandal broke out in 2011, initially only relating to News of the World, published by media magnate Rupert Murdoch.
The voicemail and e-mail boxes of celebrities, politicians and even victims of crime have been hacked in order to obtain material for sensational articles. Later, it turned out that similar practices were also used by the newspaper “The Sun” belonging to the same owner and the rival “Daily Mirror”.
News Group Newspapers has paid out millions of pounds in settlements with more than 1,000 people whose phone voicemails were hacked and tapped over the years by Sun journalists and the News of The World, which was shut down after the news broke.
The case against News Group Newspapers is one of three that Harry has brought against the British tabloids, alleging they illegally gathered information. The other two cases concern “Daily Mirror” and “Daily Mail”.
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