- A group of British plaintiffs is suing the publisher of the Daily Mail for privacy violations.
- The group alleges that the company listened in on their phone calls and had access to their personal information.
- Several of the claimants have long, acrimonious relationships with UK tabloids.
Prince Harry, Elton John and several other high-profile Britons are suing the publisher of the Daily Mail, accusing the company of installing listening devices in the plaintiffs’ homes and cars, among other privacy violations, a law firm representing them said on Thursday. the team.
Associated Newspapers, the company that owns the Daily Mail tabloids, denied the allegations in a statement to Insider, calling the claims “absurd slander”.
“These baseless and highly defamatory allegations – not based on credible evidence – appear to be nothing more than a fishing expedition by the claimants and their lawyers, some of whom have already brought cases elsewhere,” said a spokesman for the newspaper group.
Actresses Elizabeth Hurley and Sadie Frost, along with Elton John’s partner David Furnish and Baroness Doreen Lawrence, whose teenage son was murdered in a racist attack in 1993, are also suing the company. The Daily Mail has launched a media campaign to bring the killers of Lawrence’s son to justice following his death.
On Thursday, law firm Hamlins, which is representing Prince Harry and Frost, released a statement saying the claimants were victims of “despicable criminal activity”.
The lawsuit, according to BBC News, alleges Associated Newspapers hired private investigators to secretly plant listening devices in people’s homes and vehicles. paid people to listen in and recorded people’s private phone calls in real time; paid police officers for sensitive information; impersonated people to obtain their private medical information; and accessed their bank accounts and credit histories through illegal means.”
British law firm Gunnercooke is representing John, Furnish, Lawrence and Hurley, the statement said.
“They have now come together to expose the truth and hold the journalists fully accountable, many of whom still hold senior positions of power and authority today,” Hamlins’ press release said.
Several of the claimants have long, acrimonious relationships with UK tabloids. Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle broke off all engagements with four major British newspapers after their 2018 wedding, including the Daily Mail, accusing the paper of inaccurate reporting.
The charges come more than a decade after Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World was shut down following a years-long investigation into the tabloid’s journalistic practices. Investigations found that the newspaper had hacked the phones of many people, including celebrities, members of the royal family and victims of crime.