Elton John and the Duke of Sussex made unexpected appearances at the High Court in London on Monday for the case’s preliminary hearing.
The two are suing Associated Newspapers (ANL) over alleged phone-tapping and privacy breaches along with five other well-known individuals, according to Reuters. These individuals include Sadie Frost and Elizabeth Hurley, as well as David Furnish, John’s filmmaker husband, and five other prominent people.
According to Fox News Digital, the plaintiffs also claimed that the publisher bribed police authorities for confidential information. John, Prince Harry, and the other claimants said that they had been the targets of “many illicit activities” committed by reporters and private eye firms working for the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday of the ANL.
According to their attorney David Sherborne, the allegations against ANL include hacking text messages, bugging calls, obtaining private information like medical data through fraud or “blagging,” and “commissioning the breaking and entering into private property.” According to reports, the alleged conduct continued well into 2018 from 1993 to 2011.
ANL firmly refuted the accusations and vowed to forcefully defend them, according to a statement to Reuters. Its attorney has asked that the whole lawsuit be dismissed.
The preliminary hearing is not likely to feature any testimony from the plaintiffs, including former legislator Simon Hughes and Baroness Doreen Lawrence, the mother of slain Black British adolescent Stephen Lawrence who was killed in a 1993 racial attack. They were under no obligation to go.
Reporters were seated only a few feet away from Prince Harry, who had flown in from California. It was said that he was taking notes. His spokeswoman stated that he wants to be present to express his support.
During the hearing, Lawrence was subsequently spotted being hugged by Meghan Markle’s husband. In conversation with Furnish. When he departed the court, Prince Harry was also spotted giving the fans the thumbs up.
Harry knew if he attended in person, there would be international media interest, so the story can't be buried as ANL would like. Love to see him looking so unbothered!
— Mary Lewis (@MaryLewis2021) March 27, 2023
On social media, reactions to Prince Harry’s attendance at the preliminary hearing were polarised.
“Harry was aware that if he showed there in person, there would be media coverage on a global scale, making it impossible for ANL to completely forget the incident. It’s wonderful to see him appear unconcerned “One responded.
Another individual said, “Prince Harry personally attending gives international media emphasis to this matter that ANL has been attempting to keep off the radar.”
Prince Harry coming in person brings global media spotlight to this case that ANL have been trying to keep off the radar.
— Common sense😷 (@Trulynotcommon) March 27, 2023
“Prince Harry is in London to file a lawsuit against a tabloid for violating the privacy of him and his family. This is the same person who appeared on Oprah and exposed his family’s sins, authored a memoir about experiencing frostbite on his penis, and plans to webcast a live interview with a trauma expert for everyone to witness “a critic said.
Prince Harry is in London to take a newspaper to court for invading his and his family's privacy.
This is the same guy who went on Oprah and aired out his family's dirty laundry, wrote a memoir discussing his penis getting frostbite and wants to do a livestream with a trauma…
— Ada Lluch 🇪🇸 (@ada_lluch) March 27, 2023