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Prince Harry, Elton John and Elizabeth Hurley are among high-profile people that have launched a lawsuit against Associated Newspapers, the publisher of the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and Mail Online.
The legal action accuses the British publisher of “abhorrent criminal activity and gross breaches of privacy,” according to a press release issued Thursday by law firm Hamlins, which is representing Prince Harry and Sadie Frost. They are named in the suit alongside David Furnish, the husband of Elton John, and campaigner Baroness Doreen Lawrence.
Other allegations contained in the suit include Associated Newspapers hiring private eyes to place listening devices in cars and homes, hiring people to secretly bug and record private phone calls, paying off police officials for sensitive information, accessing bank accounts and financial transactions, and impersonating people to obtain confidential medical information from hospitals and clinics.
“These individuals have become aware of compelling and highly distressing evidence that they have been the victims of Associated Newspapers,” the statements from the celebrities indicates. “They have therefore banded together to uncover the truth, and to hold the journalists responsible fully accountable, many of whom still hold senior positions of authority and power.”
John, Hurley and Lawrence are represented by the Gunnercooke legal firm. Associated Newspapers in a statement dismissed the tapping and other wrongful acts alleged in the lawsuit against the newspaper publisher.
“We utterly and unambiguously refute these preposterous smears which appear to be nothing more than a pre-planned and orchestrated attempt to drag the Mail titles into the phone hacking scandal concerning articles up to 30 years old. These unsubstantiated and highly defamatory claims — based on no credible evidence — appear to be simply a fishing expedition by claimants and their lawyers, some of whom have already pursued cases elsewhere,” a spokesperson for the newspaper publisher said.
In February 2021, Britain’s High Court ruled that the publisher of The Mail on Sunday and MailOnline website unlawfully breached Meghan Markle’s privacy with five articles that reproduced a large chunk of a handwritten letter she sent her father, Thomas Markle, after she married Prince Harry in 2018.
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