Here are some photos of Prince Harry leaving the High Court in London on Tuesday, after the second day of the four-day pretrial hearings in his lawsuit against ANL/The Mail. A quick note about how Harry is coming and going – on Monday, he arrived at the front entrance of the courthouse with his lawyers and security, and the media scrum was all abuzz. When he left court on Monday, he left by the back or side exit, which is still accessible to media but (I think) the back exit is a bit more secure and the media is less lucky to advance on him. On Tuesday, he arrived and exited by the same back door. As he left on Tuesday, he gave a cheeky smile to photographers. He looks happy and free. Probably because he’s finally getting to tell his side of things – Harry provided a witness statement to the court, because ANL is trying to shut down this lawsuit before it goes to trial. Here’s some of what Harry told the court (it was a written statement, but you get the idea):
The Duke of Sussex — who is in London this week for a legal case in which he and other prominent figures are suing Associated Newspapers Ltd (ANL), publisher of the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday, for illegal information gathering — submitted a witness statement in which he says he was made to adopt his family’s policy to “never complain, never explain” when dealing with the media.
“Following the death of my mother in 1997 when I was 12 years old and her treatment at the hands of the press, I have always had an uneasy relationship with the press. However, as a member of the Institution the policy was to ‘never complain, never explain.’ There was no alternative; I was conditioned to accept it. For the most part, I accepted the interest in my performing my public functions.”
However, Prince Harry said dating Meghan Markle made him “increasingly troubled by the approach of not taking action against the press in the wake of vicious persistent attacks on, harassment of and intrusive, sometimes racist articles concerning Meghan.” He added that “the situation got worse” with Meghan’s pregnancy and the birth of their first child, Prince Archie, in May 2019. Prince Harry said he became aware that he had a claim against News Group Newspapers over phone hacking that he could bring in 2018.
“The Institution was without a doubt withholding information from me for a long time about NGN’s phone hacking and that has only become clear in recent years as I have pursued my own claim with different legal advice and representation,” he said.
Harry added: “It is not an exaggeration to say that the bubble burst in terms of what I knew in 2020 when I moved out of the United Kingdom…To this day, there are members of the Royal Family and friends of mine who may have been targeted by NGN and I have no idea whether they have or have not brought claims. There was never any centralised discussion between us about who had brought claims as each office in the Institution is siloed. There is this misconception that we are all in constant communication with one another but that is not true.”
Prince Harry said the claim was “not just about me…I am bringing this claim because I love my country and I remain deeply concerned by the unchecked power, influence and criminality of Associated,” he said. “The evidence I have seen shows that Associated’s journalists are criminals with journalistic powers which should concern every single one of us. The British public deserve to know the full extent of this cover up and I feel it is my duty to expose it.”
“It is not an exaggeration to say that the bubble burst in terms of what I knew in 2020 when I moved out of the United Kingdom.” I think that too – I remember being so frustrated with Harry and Meghan in 2018 and 2019 as we could see, as outsiders, how the collusion between palace and press grew stronger and more focused on driving Meghan to self-harm or to simply drive her to divorce Harry and move out of the country. But, as Harry said, they were being siloed, they were never being told the whole story of who knew what and what was being recorded and why this paper had certain information. It’s crazy that it took Elton John saying “you should hire your own lawyers” for everything to start moving – Harry was stuck in this Stockholm Syndrome-esque situation where he just accepted that if the royal lawyers told him nothing could be done, then that was it.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.
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