Prince Harry Scores Victory in Phone Hacking Case against UK Tabloids

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In the historic phone hacking scandal, Prince Harry won his case against British tabloid newspapers when a court awarded him $180,000 against the Daily Mirror publishers on Friday.

Justice Timothy Fancourt found hacking was “widespread and habitual” at the Mirror Group Newspapers, adding in his ruling that private investigators were “an integral part of the system” who unlawfully gathered information on the Duke of Sussex and his family.

Newspaper executives reportedly tried to cover up the practice.

According to reports, around 15 to 30 newspaper stories were generated through unlawful information gathering.

NPR noted that Harry became the first royal in more than a century to take the stand in a courtroom.

More than 100 other celebrities joined him in the civil case.

The articles in question contained anecdotes about Harry’s grief over his mother, Princess Diana’s death in 1997, and also about romantic relationships he had in his teens.

Harry testified that the hacking had led to suspicion among those closest to him, as it could not be determined who leaked personal information to the press.

“This case is not just about hacking,” lawyer David Sherborne quoted the prince as saying.

“It is about a systemic practice of unlawful and appalling behavior, followed by cover-ups and destruction of evidence — the shocking scale of which can only be revealed by these proceedings.”

The Mirror Group’s parent company, Reach, issued an apology:

“Where historical wrongdoing took place, we apologize unreservedly, have taken full responsibility and paid appropriate compensation,” Reach Chief Executive Jim Mullen said in a statement.

As media analyst Eleanor Mills noted, the historic ruling could be a major reckoning for British tabloids.

“It’s a pretty bad day for the British media, that’s been trying to sweep this under the carpet,” Mills said.

“Other newspaper groups will probably be feeling pretty worried.”

According to the BBC, Prince Harry’s lawsuit is one of many he is fighting against media groups, including Associated Newspapers and News Group Newspapers

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