The publisher of several UK tabloids, including the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror, and Daily Express, has issued an apology to Prince Harry amid an ongoing hacking trial. The court statement, filed on May 10, revealed that MGN admitted to unlawfully gathering information about the Duke of Sussex during a single incident, which occurred in February 2004. The private investigator had been instructed by a journalist at The People, another newspaper owned by MGN, to gather information on Harry’s activities at the Chinawhite nightclub in London.
MGN’s statement, which was written in the court filing, expressed an “unreserved” apology to Harry for all instances of unlawful information gathering (UIG), and assured the claimants that such conduct would not be repeated. The statement also acknowledged that the violation in question, which is not part of Harry’s lawsuit against MGN, warranted compensation.
During the trial, Harry’s lawyer, David Sherborne, addressed the court about the alleged harassment of his client by the media. Sherborne spoke about the impact that the intrusive methods of obtaining personal information had on Harry’s life, including his relationship with his ex-girlfriend Chelsy Davy. According to Sherborne, the unlawful information gathered by MGN journalists caused great challenges in their relationship and made Harry fear for his and her safety.
Harry’s lawsuit against MGN, which was filed in 2019, involves 148 articles published between 1996 and 2010. The Duke of Sussex is also expected to take the stand in June, marking the first time in history that a senior royal will be a witness in court.
MGN’s apology to Harry comes a month after it was revealed that Prince William had privately settled his phone-hacking case against the company. Harry’s legal team confirmed in court documents that a deal had been reached between Buckingham Palace and Rupert Murdoch’s company on behalf of Prince William. The documents also noted that the secret agreement had been made public as a result of MGN’s bid to prevent Harry’s claims from going to trial.