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Prince Harry Will Get $500,000 In Tabloid Phone Hacking Settlement | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker


Topline

Mirror Group Newspapers has agreed to pay Prince Harry an additional $500,000 in damages to settle the royal’s claims against the British tabloid publisher, according to multiple reports, ending a four-year dispute between the Duke of Sussex and the Mirror Group after alleging the publisher hacked his phone several times.

Key Facts

David Sherborne, Harry’s attorney, told the U.K.’s High Court that the Mirror Group agreed to make interim payments to Harry totaling £400,000 ($504,142) to settle his claims against the publisher, according to the BBC.

Harry’s phone was targeted by the Mirror Group several times between 2003 and 2009, Justice Timothy Fancourt ruled in December, indicating at least 15 articles published by the outlet were based on information gathered by “extensive” hacking of his phone or “other unlawful information gathering.”

A spokesperson for the Mirror Group told the Guardian the publisher was “pleased to have reached this agreement,” which provides its business “further clarity to move forward from events that took place many years ago.”

Big Number

$684,000. That’s how much Mirror Group Newspapers will pay Prince Harry, after the U.K.’s High Court ordered the publisher to pay Harry $180,000 in December.

Crucial Quote

“Everything we said was happening at the Mirror group was in fact happening, and indeed far worse as the court ruled in its extremely damaging judgment,” Sherborne said, adding they had “uncovered and proved the shockingly dishonest way” the publisher acted.

Chief Critic

Kelvin MacKenzie, a former editor for The Sun tabloid—a Mirror competitor—told the BBC that Harry could have fought for a larger sum in damages, suggesting “he understands that the nation is not behind him, even though the allegations may be serious.”

Key Background

Harry sued the Mirror Group in 2019, alleging the Daily Mirror and The Sun hacked his phone between 1996 and 2011 to provide information for at least 140 stories. Britain’s High Court—which examined 33 of the articles—determined in December that Harry’s legal time proved Harry’s phone was “hacked to a modest extent,” indicating at least 15 stories were based on information derived from the hacking. The Mirror Group said after the ruling it had “taken full responsibility” for “historical wrongdoing.”

Tangent

Harry and his wife Meghan Markle have heavily criticized the British tabloid press in recent years after stepping away from royal duties in 2020—and have launched several lawsuits, to mixed results. The Duke of Sussex filed a lawsuit against Associated Newspapers in February 2022, after an article published by the Mail on Sunday claimed he lied to keep a legal dispute with the British government a secret. That claim was dropped in January after Harry was ordered to pay legal fees. He filed another lawsuit against the publisher in October 2022, alleging he and six other public figures—including Elton John, Elizabeth Hurley and Sadie Frost—were “victims of abhorrent criminal activity and gross breaches of privacy.” That claim will go to trial, a U.K. judge ruled in November.

Further Reading

Prince Harry Gets ‘Substantial’ Damages In Mirror Hacking Case (BBC)

Prince Harry Awarded $180,000 In Damages After Court Rules He Was Victim Of Newspaper Phone Hacking (Forbes)

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