Prince William and Rupert Murdoch’s News Group Newspapers (NGN) settled a phone-hacking claim for a “very large sum” three years ago, according to lawyers for William’s brother Prince Harry.
According to Reuters, Harry’s legal team said a deal had been agreed between NGN and Buckingham Palace on behalf of Prince William to hold off any claims until other outstanding phone-hacking litigation was settled.
“The claimant has had to make public the details of this secret agreement, as well as the fact that his brother, His Royal Highness, Prince William, has recently settled his claim against NGN behind the scenes,” the document is reported by Reuters to have said.
NGN settled with Prince William, the heir to throne, “for a very large sum of money in 2020,” Reuters reported. Prince William’s office said it could not comment on ongoing legal proceedings. His father, King Charles III, will be coronated in 10 days’ time and Harry will attend.
The documents have been unearthed as the LA-based Harry is suing NGN at the London High Court over multiple unlawful acts allegedly committed on behalf of its Sun and now defunct News of the World tabloids from the mid-1990s until 2016. He accuses NGN’s tabloids of phone-hacking and obtaining private information about him by deception, including getting hold of Markle’s social security number.
The News of the World was closed down more than a decade ago following a phone-hacking scandal that rocked the world of British journalism and saw millions paid out in damages.
Simultaneously, Harry, along with celebrities including Elton John and Elizabeth Hurley, is suing the publisher of Sun rival The Daily Mail for breaches of privacy including the hiring of private investigators to secretly place listening devices inside their cars and homes.