Prince Harry’s arguments against Mirror Group

June 6, 2023 /Legal/ — Prince Harry is suing the Mirror Group publisher, claiming journalists at its titles – which also include the Sunday Mirror and Sunday People – were linked to methods including phone hacking, so-called “blagging” or gaining information by deception, and use of private investigators for unlawful activities. Prince Harry’s main arguments in his 55-page witness statement are that:

  • The Mirror Group’s journalists unlawfully hacked into his voicemail messages and obtained private information about him, including his personal relationships, medical information, and financial affairs.
  • This unlawful activity caused him “significant distress and damage” and had a negative impact on his mental health.
  • The Mirror Group’s journalists also engaged in other unlawful activities, such as “blagging” or deceiving people to obtain information, and using private investigators to follow him and his friends.
  • These unlawful activities were “a gross invasion of his privacy” and “a serious breach of the trust that he placed in the media.”
  • The Mirror Group’s conduct was “unacceptable” and “should not be tolerated.”

Harry also argues that the Mirror Group’s conduct was motivated by a desire to “sell newspapers” and that it was not in the public interest. He says that the information that was obtained by the Mirror Group was not “of any real public interest” and that it was only published to “sell newspapers and increase the Mirror Group’s profits.”

The Mirror Group has denied all of Harry’s allegations and has said that it will vigorously defend its case. The trial is due to last for six weeks.

Here are some additional details about the key legal points in the case:

  • Unlawful interception of voicemails: In order to establish that the Mirror Group’s journalists unlawfully intercepted Harry’s voicemails, his lawyers will need to prove that the journalists had no legitimate reason to access his voicemails and that they did so without his consent.
  • Damage to reputation: In order to establish that Harry’s reputation was damaged by the Mirror Group’s conduct, his lawyers will need to prove that the information that was obtained by the Mirror Group was false and that it caused Harry to lose the respect of others.
  • Public interest: In order to defeat Harry’s claim, the Mirror Group will need to prove that the publication of the information was in the public interest. This means that the publication must have been made for a legitimate reason and that it was in the public’s interest to know about the information that was published.

The case is likely to be high-profile and it is possible that it could have implications for the future of the media in the UK. If Harry is successful in his claim, it could set a precedent that makes it more difficult for the media to publish defamatory articles about public figures.