10 July 2024

Harry gives interview about his mission against ‘illegal tactics’ of tabloids

10 July 2024

The Duke of Sussex is to appear in a new documentary about phone hacking, ITV has announced.

Harry will discuss his “mission to continue his fight to expose the illegal tactics of Britain’s tabloid press”, the broadcaster said.

It described the sit-down discussion for Tabloids On Trial, which airs on July 25, as Harry’s first major interview since the conclusion of his court case against Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN).

Harry was pictured sitting on a sofa being interviewed face-to-face by ITV News’s Rebecca Barry.

Hugh Grant, Charlotte Church and Paul Gascoigne are among the celebrities who also feature in the documentary as they share their experiences.

The duke, 39, sued MGN for damages, claiming journalists at its publications were linked to methods including phone hacking, so-called “blagging” – gaining information by deception – and use of private investigators for unlawful activities.

In December, Mr Justice Fancourt ruled that phone hacking became “widespread and habitual” at MGN titles in the late 1990s and that Harry’s phone was hacked “to a modest extent” by MGN, awarding him £140,600 in damages.

A trial found 15 articles were the result of unlawful information gathering, and MGN and Harry also settled the remainder of his claim in February with “a substantial additional sum by way of damages” and Harry’s legal costs.

ITV said: “Featuring Prince Harry’s first major interview since the conclusion of his court case with Mirror Group Newspapers, this documentary hears about his mission to continue his fight to expose the illegal tactics of Britain’s tabloid press and explores what those in charge at Fleet Street really knew as this scandal unfolded.”

It added: “ITV News’s Rebecca Barry meets high-profile celebrities including Hugh Grant, Charlotte Church and Paul Gascoigne as well as people catapulted into the public eye, whose lives were ripped apart by newspapers.”

Harry hit out at former Mirror editor Piers Morgan in a statement in February, adding: “We have uncovered and proved the shockingly dishonest way in which the Mirror acted for so many years, and then sought to conceal the truth.”

The duke said: “Our mission continues. I believe in the positive change it will bring for all of us. It is the very reason why I started this, and why I will continue to see it through to the end.”

Harry is also one of a group of high-profile people, including Sir Elton John and Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon, bringing legal action against the publisher of the Daily Mail over allegations it carried out or commissioned unlawful information-gathering.

They have accused Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL) of allegedly carrying out or commissioning unlawful activities such as hiring private investigators to place listening devices inside cars, “blagging” private records, burglaries to order and accessing and recording private phone conversations.

ANL has firmly denied the allegations. The legal claims are in the preliminary stages.

Meanwhile, Harry also alleges he was targeted by journalists and private investigators working for News Group Newspapers (NGN), the publisher of The Sun and the now-defunct News Of The World.

He is bringing a case against NGN over alleged unlawful information-gathering but not allegations of phone hacking, with a full trial due to be held in January.

Grant settled a High Court claim against the publisher of The Sun after being advised he risked being liable for a £10 million legal bill if his case went to trial.

NGN has previously denied unlawful activity took place at The Sun.

Tabloids On Trial airs on ITV1 & ITVX at 9pm on Thursday July 25.

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