Prince Harry Receives Apology From Tabloid Publisher Amid Hacking Trial

Mirror Group Newspapers has issued an apologized to Prince Harry for unlawful information amid his lawsuit against the British tabloid publisher.

By Alexandra Bellusci May 10, 2023 11:08 PMTags
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Prince Harry has received an apology from Mirror Group Newspapers.

MGN, which owns publications including Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror, and Daily Express, shared a statement admitting wrongdoing to the Duke of Sussex for a single instance of unlawfully gathering information amid his suit against the tabloid publisher. 

"MGN unreservedly apologises for all such instances of UIG," the British publisher's statement—written in a court filing at the start of the trial May 10—read, according to the BBC, "and assures the claimants that such conduct will never be repeated."

The publisher added that the violation in question, which is not part the Spare author's lawsuit against MGN, "warrants compensation."

The court statement stemmed from a Feb. 2004 incident in which a private investigator was instructed by a journalist at The People, another newspaper owned by MGN, to unlawfully gather information on Harry's activities at the Chinawhite nightclub in London, per the BBC.

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Although the prince wasn't in attendance for the first day of trial, his attorney Barrister David Sherborne addressed the London court about the alleged harassment of his client from the media.

"We all remember the images of him walking behind his mother's coffin," he shared. "From that moment on, as a schoolboy and from his career in the army and as a young adult he was subjected, it was clear, to the most intrusive methods of obtaining his personal information. It also caused great challenges in his relationship with his ex-girlfriend Chelsy Davy, and made him fear for his and her safety."

Harry and Chelsy dated on and off from 2004 to 2010, and according to Harry's lawyer, she decided that "a royal life was not for her" as a result of alleged unlawful information gathered by MGN journalists.

Harry's case, which was filed in 2019, involves 148 articles published between 1996 and 2010, according to BBC. He is also expected to take the stand in June—marking the first time in history a senior royal will be a witness in court.

Karwai Tang/WireImage, Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

The Mirror Group Newspapers' apology comes a month after it was made public that Prince William had privately settled in the phone-hacking case.

Harry's legal team stated in court documents obtained by Reuters—which NBC News has not independently verified—that a deal was reached between the Rupert Murdoch-owned company and Buckingham Palace on behalf of Prince William.

The document stated in part, per the outlet, "It is important to bear in mind that in responding to this bid by NGN to prevent his claims going to trial, the claimant has had to make public the details of this secret agreement, as well as the fact that his brother, His Royal Highness, Prince William, has recently settled his claim against NGN behind the scenes."

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