Prince Harry’s lawsuit against a leading British newspaper publisher took an emotional turn as his voice choked up in court at the conclusion of his eight-hour testimony.
This Wednesday, the Duke of Sussex expressed his feelings of “injustice” and stressed that it would be a deep disappointment if his phone hacking allegations were dismissed.
The poignant moment came at the end of a two-day cross-examination, marking the first time a royal has testified in court since 1891.
The lawsuit against Mirror Group Newspapers
The Duke of Sussex is suing Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) for alleged phone hacking and unlawful collection of information between 1996 and 2009.
Harry accuses the MGN titles of using unlawful means to gather information about his life.
During the trial, MGN’s attorney, Mr. Green, disputed the details of Harry’s phone hacking allegations. However, Harry presented specific examples in support of his claims to have been a victim of phone hacking.
Prince Harry’s distress and damaging articles
Harry claimed that some 140 articles published by the Mirror Group contained illegally obtained information, which caused him great distress.
Among the articles discussed in court, a particularly hurtful one entitled “Hooray Harry’s dumped,” reported the end of his relationship with Chelsy Davy.
Harry expressed his disappointment at the article, which he felt was mean-spirited, and celebrated the end of the relationship.
MGN’s lawyers argued that the articles selected for trial could have been obtained legitimately or were already in the public domain, although the publisher had previously admitted a case of illegal information gathering.
The Duke expressed his distrust of tabloid coverage, particularly when quotes were attributed to anonymous sources, leading him to believe that his phone or those of people close to him had been hacked.
The prince also recounted an incident in which he discovered photographers hiding under a car, waiting to capture his private dinner with the late TV presenter Caroline Flack.
Prince Harry’s determination for media reform
Prince Harry has been determined his mission to introduce reforms in the British tabloid media.
He has consistently claimed that he was subjected to intrusive practices and that his personal relationships were adversely affected.
By participating in this trial, he intends to hold the media accountable for its actions.
This high-profile trial, which began on May 10, is expected to last seven weeks.
MGN, opposes most of the charges, claiming that there is insufficient evidence of phone hacking and that some claims have been filed too late.
The historical significance of Prince Harry’s testimony
Prince Harry’s testimony marks a significant moment in modern times, as a royal has not testified in court since his great-great-grandfather, the future King Edward VII, took the stand over a baccarat incident in the late 19th century.
Harry’s cross-examination in his case against MGN has been completed, however, this is just one of several ongoing legal proceedings the Duke is undertaking.