A phone-hacking incident reportedly left Prince Harry with a feeling of paranoia, which made the Duke of Sussex felt distrustful of those around him. This statement is part of the writ Prince Harry's lawyers filed in new court documents relating to his lawsuit against News Group Newspapers, the owner of the British tabloid The Sun.
The document, acquired by The Times, underscored the Duke of Sussex's claims that he became paranoid when the news outlet published stories about him after a phone-hacking incident nearly a decade ago. He said that he has been the tabloid's target since he was 12 years old, bringing major security risks to his day-to-day activities.
Prince Harry claimed that the paper's journalists and photographers would usually be in places where he's present. He also claimed that he had voicemails mysteriously disappearing from his phone only to find stories about him on the paper the following days. The Duke of Sussex is accusing News Group Newspapers of violating his privacy and intruding on his life.
But it should be noted that The Sun was previously owned by News of the World, which shut down following the phone-hacking scandal. The former publication lost the case in 2011 after its royal editor, Clive Goodman, and Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator, were convicted of phone hacking the voicemails of royal staff members.
Goodman and Mulcaire were imprisoned in less than six months. In 2014, another editor, Andy Coulson, served 18 months after the courts also determined that he conspired to intercept the communications of the royal family and their staff.
A whistle-blower who spoke with Byline Investigates attested that Prince Harry's phone was hacked while he was studying for the GCSEs. The source said that he was tasked to monitor communications and find out if the Duke of Sussex had been taking drugs to remain active and awake during late hours of the night.
The hacker claimed that from 2005 to 2006, Prince Harry's phone was illegally accessed around nine times, while Kate Middleton had over 155 security breaches and Prince William had 35 breaches.
In 2019, Prince Harry said that he was also launching a new lawsuit against these voicemail interceptions as his wife, Meghan Markle, was pursuing her own lawsuit against Associated Newspapers for copyright breach. The Duke of Sussex has hired David Sherborne, the lawyer of the late Princess Diana. Sherborne also represented the Duchess of Sussex until Meghan dismissed his firm just this summer.
Aside from this lawsuit, Prince Harry is also suing Reach Plc, the owner of Daily Mirror.