Prince Harry Reveals Murdoch Payout to William

Prince William received 'very large sum' from News Group over hacking: court documents
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 25, 2023 11:57 AM CDT
Updated Apr 29, 2023 6:30 AM CDT
Prince Harry Reveals Murdoch Payout to William
Britain's Prince William and Prince Harry walk beside each other after viewing the floral tributes for the late Queen Elizabeth II outside Windsor Castle in Windsor, England, on Sept. 10.   (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File)

Prince William received a "very large sum of money" from Rupert Murdoch's News Group Newspapers to settle claims of phone hacking in 2020, according to court documents submitted by his brother. Prince Harry claims the British royal family entered into a secret agreement with "senior executives" at NGN before 2012, stating the princes would delay legal proceedings against the publisher of the Sun and now-defunct News Of The World—accused of illegally obtaining personal information about the brothers, including through the hacking of voicemails—until the resolution of other phone-hacking litigation, at which point "the claims would be admitted or settled with an apology," per the BBC. Harry says he sought an apology in 2017 but didn't get one, which is why he sued in 2019.

NGN, which claims there was no secret agreement, says Harry is bringing the suit too late. To counter that argument, lawyers for Harry filed documents revealing the payment to Prince William for the first time on Tuesday during a High Court hearing to determine whether the case should go to trial. The documents don't reveal the exact sum or details surrounding the payment. But Harry argues the fact that his brother settled with NGN is proof that an agreement existed with the aim to avoid a situation where a member of the royal family would be forced to testify about "private and highly sensitive voicemails that had been intercepted"—following embarrassment in 1993, when the Sun published an intimate 1989 phone call between Prince Charles and his then-mistress Camilla.

"This agreement, including the promises from NGN for delayed resolution was, obviously, a major factor as to why no claim was brought by me at that time," Harry argues, per the BBC. He claims the deal was authorized by the late Queen Elizabeth II. If the judge sides with the prince, a trial will be set for January, the Guardian reports. This is just one of three phone-hacking and invasion of privacy cases Harry is pursuing against media companies. He's one of numerous celebrities seeking a trial in a case against Associated Newspapers Limited, the publisher of the Daily Mail. He's also set to testify against Mirror Group Newspapers, publisher of the Mirror and Sunday Mirror, as part of a trial to begin days after King Charles' May 6 coronation, per the Washington Post. (More Prince William stories.)

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