UK paper group bids to throw out Prince Harry and others' privacy lawsuits


  • Royal commentator Kinsey Schofield agreed that ANL invaded celebrities' privacy if their allegations are true
  • She claimed Prince Harry looks "hypocritical" after "creating so much content" and almost invading other people's privacy
  • Harry and other claimants alleged ANL is responsible for unlawful information gathering over a period of 25 years

Prince Harry has been slammed as a hypocrite by a royal expert over his involvement in a privacy lawsuit against one of Britain's biggest newspaper publishers.

The Duke of Sussex, Elton John and five other high-profile figures are suing Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL), the publisher of the Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday, over allegations of phone tapping and other privacy breaches. ANL has strongly denied these allegations.

During an appearance on GB News, royal correspondent and commentator Kinsey Schofield, host of the "To Di for Daily" podcast and author of "R is for Revenge Dress," accused Prince Harry of being "hypocritical" considering that he was willing to share a lot of private details about himself and his family in the Netflix docuseries "Harry and Meghan" and in the tell-all memoir "Spare."

"It does seem like a total invasion of privacy that a private investigator, they are alleging, hid microphones in their phones, in their homes [and] in their cars. They were followed around [by people who] would dress up as doctors to access their medical information. They hacked their banking information," she said.

Schofield noted that "there is a very large list" of allegations against ANL from "a very elite group of public figures," who also include John's filmmaker husband David Furnish, actresses Elizabeth Hurley and Sadie Frost, former lawmaker Simon Hughes and Baroness Doreen Lawrence.

GB News' hosts said that the lawsuit was a surprise because they thought they were done with it with the Leveson Inquiry — which recommended a self-regulatory body with the power to promote high standards, investigate serious breaches and sanction newspapers, according to the BBC.

Schofield said that she was also surprised that Prince Harry is involved in the privacy lawsuit.

"The argument you're seeing online is that this is a man that wants to talk invasion online while producing six hours of Netflix content while putting out the book 'Spare,'" Schofield said of Prince Harry. "It looks a bit hypocritical when he is creating so much content, almost invading other people's privacy with the content he is creating, so I understand that argument specific with Harry involved in this case."

Host Eamonn Holmes argued that it doesn't "entitle a publication to access his medical records or place a bugging device in his car."

Schofield agreed that Holmes is correct if the claims "are true."

"If they can prove that those [claims] are true. These are all allegations at this point," Schofield added.

Prince Harry and several other claimants attended the preliminary hearing on the case at the High Court in London Monday. A judge will decide this week whether the case will move forward.

The royal, John and the other plaintiffs claimed they were the victims of "numerous unlawful acts" carried out by journalists and private investigators working on behalf of the ANL's Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday.

The claims against ANL include hacking mobile phone messages, bugging calls, getting private information like medical records by deception or "blagging," and "commissioning the breaking and entry into private property," according to their lawyer David Sherborne. The alleged activity reportedly ran from 1993 to 2011, and even up to 2018.

When Holmes asked if there were stories published that news outlets wouldn't be able to access unless they were illegally listening to the royals, Schofield cited a previous confrontation between Prince William and Kate Middleton when they were still dating.

"I believe that is what we're going to hear today. Some examples of that," the royal expert responded, referring to the ongoing preliminary hearing. "But you know the issue that you were talking about in the past, I believe there are stories about Prince William confronting Kate Middleton, his girlfriend at the time, wondering how stories were ending up in the tabloids. It was because somebody had hacked her phone and was listening to his voicemails on her phone. So, it is very similar in that case, where you're seeing some stories in the headline because they were achieved by illegal ways."

Prince Harry said in his witness statement that he was made aware of phone tapping in 2005 when it emerged that the royal correspondent and a private investigator working for the defunct News of the World tabloid, which was part of Rupert Murdoch's News Group Newspapers (NGN), were targeting the phones of royal aides.

However, his family allegedly discouraged him from taking legal action.

"The Institution made it clear that we did not need to know anything about phone hacking, and it was made clear to me that the royal family did not sit in the witness box because that could open up a can of worms," he said in a witness statement. "The Institution was without a doubt withholding information from me for a long time about NGN's phone hacking, and that has only become clear in recent years as I have pursued my own claim with different legal advice and representation."

Britain's Prince Harry attends a rugby event at Buckingham Palace gardens in London