A judge in the United Kingdom issued a ruling Friday in Prince Harry’s lawsuit against Associated Newspapers Ltd., the publisher of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday and the MailOnline.
The judge ruled that the lawsuit filed by the Duke of Sussex, as well as several other high-profile figures can move forward, according to the United Kingdom’s Courts and Tribunals Judiciary.
Harry and singer Elton John, along with John’s husband David Furnish, actress Elizabeth Hurley, actress Sadie Frost and Baroness Doreen Lawrence of Clarendon OBE, alleged in the lawsuit, which was filed last year, that they are “the victims of abhorrent criminal activity and gross breaches of privacy,” according to Hamlins, the London-based law firm representing Harry as well as Frost in the lawsuit.
In a press release published at the time the lawsuit was announced, the law firm alleged that Associated Newspapers Ltd. hired private investigators to “secretly place listening devices inside people’s cars and homes,” commissioned individuals to “surreptitiously listen into and record people’s live, private telephone calls while they were taking place,” paid “police officials, with corrupt links to private investigators, for inside, sensitive information,” impersonated individuals “to obtain medical information from private hospitals, clinics, and treatment centers by deception,” and accessed “bank accounts, credit histories and financial transactions through illicit means and manipulation.”
Harry made an unexpected appearance in March at a hearing for the case in the U.K., which also attracted Frost, John and Furnish.
In a statement to ABC News at the time the lawsuit was filed in October 2022, a spokesperson for Associated Newspapers said they “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,” the spokesperson added.
The Duke of Sussex and his family, including his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, and their two children, have lived in the United States since 2020, when Harry and Meghan stepped down from their senior royal roles.
In January, Harry released a memoir, titled “Spare,” that shared previously unknown details about his life as a member of the royal family, including his relationship with the press over the years.
The duke’s lawsuit against Associated Newspapers Ltd., is one of at least seven lawsuits that he and Meghan have filed against U.S. and British media outlets since 2019, according to Reuters.