Prince Harry wins phone-hacking trial against UK’s Mirror Group Newspapers, awarded $180K

London’s High Court ruled in Prince Harry’s favor in his phone-hacking case against Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) on Friday.

The Duke of Sussex was awarded $180,000 for damages for 15 of the 33 articles in question.

In response to the verdict, Harry’s lawyer David Sherborne read a statement from the royal — who was not present — outside of the court.

“This case is not just about hacking, it’s about a systemic practice of unlawful and appalling behavior, followed by cover-ups and destruction of evidence, the shocking scale of which can only be revealed through these proceedings,” the attorney read.

“I hope that the court’s finding will serve as a warning to all media organizations who have employed these practices and then similarly lied about it,” the statement continued.

“My commitment to seeing this case through is based on my belief in our need and collective right to a free and honest press. The mission continues.”

Harry, whose lawyer is pictured above, won on Friday and was awarded $180,000. Getty Images

As for the publisher, a spokesperson said, “We welcome today’s judgment that gives the business the necessary clarity to move forward from events that took place many years ago.”

Harry first accused the British tabloid publishing company of phone hacking and stealing his voicemails in October 2019.

The duke believed that journalists at the Mirror Group Newspapers’ publications, including the Daily Mirror, Daily Record, Sunday Mirror, The People and others, engaged in unethical and illegal practices in order to obtain information about him for their stories.

He claimed the widespread unlawful activities took place between 1991 and 2011.

The Duke of Sussex sued the British tabloid company over their alleged illegal news-gathering practices. NEIL HALL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

The trial commenced on June 5 and Harry was a no-show on the first day due to scheduling conflicts because of his daughter Lilibet’s second birthday.

“His travel arrangements are such and his security arrangements are such that it is a little bit tricky,” the royal’s attorney David Sherborne told Judge Timothy Fancourt at the time.

The judge responded by saying he was “a little surprised,” noting that he had informed the duke that he wanted him to be in court throughout the highly anticipated case.

Harry testified in the trial on the stand and also provided a 55-page written statement. AP

The following day, Harry took the stand and testified in front of the court on a series of topics about his personal life, which had been covered extensively in MGN’s papers.

Among the most newsworthy testimonials was the Archewell founder’s admission that he no longer believed a passage in his best-selling memoir, “Spare,” was true.

Harry previously thought that a loose-lipped pal at Eton College sold a story about him, but the royal testified on June 6 that it now “seems that wasn’t the case.”

The royal spoke candidly about several of his personal life experiences. AP

The author also spoke at length in a written statement to the court about his ex-girlfriend Chelsy Davy, sharing details about what led to the demise of their longtime romance.

Harry, who dated Davy on and off from 2004 to 2011, suggested he was once “stupid” and “immature” and so he flirted with another woman at a party, but then noted that they actually split due to outside pressures from the press.


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The duke reportedly claimed in his bombshell testimony that he once found a tracking device on Davy’s vehicle that had allegedly been placed by a private investigator.

Harry blamed the press for the demise of his relationship with Chelsy Davy. WireImage

Harry also blasted the media’s coverage of the rumor that James Hewitt — not King Charles III — is his real father, and admitted in court to once calling his mother Princess Diana’s butler a “two-faced s–t” in a heated voicemail message.

The royal was then cross-examined on June 7, and it lasted seven-and-a-half hours.

In a tense moment with defense counsel Andrew Green, who represented MGN, Harry asked, “Are you suggesting that while I was in the army that everything was available for the press to write about?”

Harry’s cross-examination on June 7 lasted seven-and-a-half hours. Justin Ng / Avalon

The irritated lawyer responded, “Can I just repeat this isn’t about you asking me questions, it’s about me asking you questions.”

Green had been questioning Harry about a 2008 The People article about the royal’s military career, which the duke argued was an “obvious” invasion of his “private life.”

Harry said during a separate exchange with the defense lawyer that he would feel “some injustice” if he lost the trial.

The royal was represented by barrister David Sherborne during the trial. Getty Images

MGN, which is now owned by Reach, denied wrongdoing in most of the allegations made in the phone-hacking case, but did admit to unlawful news-gathering in one instance.

Attorneys for the defense said on the first day of the trial that their Sunday People tabloid hired a private investigator to gather information about the duke while he was out at a London nightclub in 2004.

 MGN said it “unreservedly apologizes and accepts that [Harry] is entitled to appropriate compensation.”