How Elton John Influenced Prince Harry’s Phone Hacking Lawsuits

Prince Harry made historical past on Tuesday as he grew to become the primary senior member of the royal household to present proof in open courtroom in over 130 years as a part of his authorized battle towards a British tabloid writer accused of cellphone hacking and different unlawful information-gathering actions. And it is partially due to singer Elton John.

Harry is presently suing three main publishers within the United Kingdom over allegations of illegal data gathering: Associated Newspapers Limited, publishers of the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday; News Group Newspapers, publishers of The Sun and now-defunct News of The World; and Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN), publishers of the Daily Mirror and Sunday People.

The MGN lawsuit is the primary of those to have reached a trial section with Harry’s case being heard amongst a pattern of different claimants earlier than a choose at London’s Royal Courts of Justice.

Prince Harry Arrives at London Court
Prince Harry waves as he arrives on the Royal Courts of Justice in London to present proof in his lawsuit towards Mirror Group Newspapers, on June 7, 2023. The MGN lawsuit is the primary of three to succeed in trial section.
Karwai Tang/WireImage

The prince first introduced he was suing the writer over tales written about his personal life between 1996 and 2011 in 2019, one thing he revealed throughout his witness testimony on Wednesday, was influenced by a vacation within the South of France with movie star pal, Elton John.

When requested when he first approached attorneys, led by media specialist barrister David Sherborne, about submitting his lawsuit, the prince stated that he did not search them out, however that “I bumped into Mr. Sherborne in France.”

He advised the courtroom, per the Daily Telegraph: “It’s in my book.”

Prince Harry, Elton John, Phone Hacking and ‘Spare’

In January, Prince Harry revealed his bombshell memoir, Spare, which broke data in its opening week to turn into the fastest-selling non-fiction ebook of all time.

Among the themes mentioned within the ebook is a non-public journey he took with Meghan Markle in 2019 to the South of France on the invitation of a household pal, singer Elton John and his husband, David Furnish.

The trip offered a respite from the media criticism confronted by the couple in Britain on the time, and Harry wrote: “We spent long healing moments gazing out at the azure sea, and it felt decadent, not just because of the luxurious setting. Freedom of any kind, in any measure, had come to feel like scandalous luxury. To be out of the fishbowl for even an afternoon felt like day release from prison.”

The prince recounted how the couple frolicked with Elton and Furnish and their kids, who bonded with Prince Archie who wasn’t but a yr outdated. Though the royal remembers the liberty and household time spent collectively fondly, he additionally wrote that there was a doubtlessly tense altercation when Elton revealed he had bought serialization rights to his memoir to the Daily Mail.

Prince Harry and Elton John
Prince Harry and Elton John communicate on the International AIDS convention in Amsterdam, on July 24, 2018. The prince wrote in his memoir that he was launched to a barrister by the singer who impressed him to sue tabloids over cellphone hacking.
Patrick van Katwijk/Getty Images

After voicing objections over how the paper reported on the singer, his household and the prince, Harry advised readers that he “didn’t push it” as a result of he “didn’t want to ruin the holiday.”

Later in Spare, Harry recounted the circumstances that surrounded his thwarted makes an attempt to carry the media liable for publishing adverse and allegedly false tales about himself and his spouse.

During the couple’s 2019 tour of South Africa, it was introduced that Harry and Meghan had instructed attorneys exterior of Buckingham Palace to sue tabloid publishers—Meghan over a breach of privateness when the Daily Mail revealed contents of a non-public letter she despatched to her father, and Harry over cellphone hacking towards MGN and News Group Newspapers.

“We both felt a bit more confident, therefore, a bit more courageous,” he wrote of his and Meghan’s mindsets throughout the tour. “Just days before our return home, when we strapped on the battle armor and announced that we were suing three of the four British tabloids (including the one that printed Meg’s letter to her father) over their disgraceful conduct, and over their longstanding practice of hacking into people’s phones.”

He then advised readers how he had first thought-about bringing his authorized motion.

“It was partially down to Elton and David,” he wrote. “At the end of our recent visit they’d introduced us to a barrister, an acquaintance of theirs, a lovely fellow who knew more about the phone-hacking scandal than anyone I’d ever met.

“He’d shared with me his experience, plus a great deal of open-court proof, and after I advised him I needed there was one thing I might do with it, after I complained that we might been blocked at each flip by the Palace, he provided a breathtakingly elegant
work-around: ‘Why not rent your personal lawyer?'”

Prince Harry and David Sherborne
Prince Harry photographed with barrister David Sherborne on the Royal Courts of Justice in London, on June 8, 2023. Harry stated he had by no means thought to file his personal lawsuit till assembly with Sherborne.
Leon Neal/Getty Images

The “lovely fellow” is presumed to be Sherborne, who has labored with the prince ever since and who represented him in courtroom throughout his MGN trial.

Harry wrote that it had “never occurred” to him to sue on his personal, having been “conditioned to do as I was told.”

During his courtroom testimony on Tuesday and Wednesday, the prince mentioned the psychological anguish brought on by the stories revealed by MGN titles which he claimed had been obtained illegally, together with private details about his relationships with previous girlfriends and relations like Prince William and Princess Diana.

The trial is scheduled to final two extra weeks with a judgment anticipated at a later date.

James Crawford-Smith is Newsweek’s royal reporter primarily based in London. You can discover him on Twitter at @jrcrawfordsmith and skim his tales on Newsweek’s The Royals Facebook web page.

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