Prince Harry sues British tabloid, claims effort to get police protection was misrepresented

ByZohreen Shah ABCNews logo
Saturday, March 18, 2023
Prince Harry's libel fight against a British tabloid
The royal's attorneys argued in court the paper got it all wrong when reporting about the prince seeking police protection for his family.

Prince Harry's lawyers had their first day of many in court Friday, where they were arguing for an immediate decision or summary judgment in the prince's case against Associated Newspapers Limited -- the publishers of the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday.

It's one of four legal battles the prince has launched against the tabloids.

He's always had a tense relationship with the British tabloid press. It's a major theme in his biography.

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He has accused them of hounding both his wife and his late mother, Princess Diana.

Now, the big question is: will he win this battle?

The prince is suing Associated Newspapers for misrepresenting him in an article last February, which says his PR team tried to put a spin on his legal fight with the British government.

Harry is suing the home office, arguing that they should reinstate his police protection when he and his family are in the U.K. -- something that was taken away when he stood down as a working royal.

Harry's lawsuit said the Mail on Sunday article implied Harry was putting a PR spin on his offer to pay for this protection and that this only came at a later date, while Harry argues he suggested it all along.

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While Prince Harry was not in court Friday, we may see him take the witness stand for his case against the mirror group. Harry and other public figures are suing them for alleged phone hacking, dating back decades.

The prince also has a separate case against Associated Newspapers and News Group -- the publishers of The Sun -- accusing them both of historic phone hacking.

He told ABC News' Michael Strahan that these court cases were an attempt to bring about change.

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"I'm not in this for self-preservation. I'm in this to be able to say, 'draw a line -- enough. We can all move on and get on with our lives. But if this continues, then I'm naturally, deeply concerned that what has happened to us will happen to someone else.' And I can't-- and I can't-- I can't let that go. That's the piece that I can't let go. And that's why I'm really pushing for change-- and accountability," Harry said. "So, a large part of this mission is to try and change the media landscape within the U.K. for the benefit of the whole country."

He said there are few people in the world right now who have the information and means that he has to be able to make change.

Both he and the Associated Newspapers have not responded to ABC News' request for comment for this story.

The judge said he will give his ruling on Friday's case at a later date.