Prince Harry Speaks Out After Legal Victory, Talks of 'Slaying Dragons'

Prince Harry
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A judge ruled in favor of the Duke of Sussex, saying the royal had been a victim of phone hacking by the Mirror Group Newspapers.

Prince Harry is speaking out following his legal victory over Mirror Group Newspapers on Friday. A judge in London's High Court ruled in favor of the 39-year-old Duke of Sussex, saying that he was a victim of phone hacking by the Mirror Group Newspapers and ordering the company to pay around $180,000. 

Following the win, Harry released a statement to ET, saying, "This case is not just about hacking. It is about a systemic practice of unlawful and appalling behavior, followed by clever-ups and destruction of evidence, the shocking scale of which can only be revealed through these proceedings."

The son of the late Princess Diana and King Charles III and his wife, Meghan Markle, have been involved in a variety of lawsuits surrounding their treatment by the British media. 

"The journey to justice can be a slow and painful one and since bringing my claim almost five years ago defamatory stories and intimidating tactics have been deployed against me and at my family’s expense," Harry continued. "And so, as I too have learnt through this process, patience is, in fact, a virtue. Especially, in the face of vendetta journalism."

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Harry added that he was intent on moving forward with the lawsuit due to his belief in "a free and honest press," noting, "Anything else is poisoning the well for a profession we all depend on."

The father of two also made a call to action, asking the authorities to "investigate bringing charges" against the Mirror Group Newspapers for breaking the law. 

"Today’s ruling is vindicating and affirming. I’ve been told that slaying dragons will get you burned but in light of today’s victory and the importance of doing what is needed for a free and honest press, it is a worthwhile price to pay," Harry concluded. "The mission continues."

Following the ruling, Piers Morgan, who was the editor of the Daily Mirror at the time of the stories in question, spoke to reporters outside of his London home. 

According to the BBC, the TV personality denied knowledge of any phone hacking, also claiming he has "never hacked a phone or told anyone else to hack a phone."  

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Morgan's statement concluded with an insult to Harry, saying, "Prince Harry's outrage about the media intrusion into the private lives of the royal family is only matched by his own ruthless, greedy and hypocritical enthusiasm for doing it himself."

In late 2021, Markle won her lawsuit against Associated Newspapers, earning her financial damages and a front page apology from the Mail on Sunday. 

Harry and Meghan officially stepped down from their roles as senior members of the royal family in 2021. They relocated to Montecito, California, with their son Archie, now 4, and welcomed their daughter, Lilibet, in 2021. 

After a series of allegations about his and Meghan's mistreatment from royals in Harry's memoir, Spare, the couple remain estranged from several members of the Duke of Sussex's family, including Harry's brother, Prince William, and his wife, Kate Middleton.