Prince Harry has settled the remaining elements of his phone hacking case against a British newspaper publisher found to have published stories on him gathered by unlawful means, firing a parting shot at Piers Morgan in the process.
The Duke of Sussex’s lawyers on Friday announced that Harry had accepted “a substantial additional sum” from Mirror Group Newspapers to end his years-long legal battle against the company. After originally being awarded around $177,000 in compensation in December, the publisher has now also agreed to pay an initial $500,000 towards his legal fees.
In a statement read by his lawyer David Sherborne outside the court after Friday’s hearing, Harry called for U.K. authorities to now “uphold the rule of law” and “prove no one is above it.”
“That includes Mr. Morgan, who as editor [of the Daily Mirror] knew perfectly well what was going on, as the judge held,” Harry said. “Even his own employer realized it simply could not call him as a witness of truth. His contempt for the court’s ruling and his continued attacks ever since demonstrate why it was so important to obtain a clear and detailed judgment.”
A judge in December ruled that phone hacking was “widespread and habitual” at Mirror Group Newspapers in the 1990s, and that Harry’s phone specifically had been breached “to a modest extent.” His case had revolved around 33 articles published between 1995 and 2011 which the royal’s attorneys claimed were evidence that he’d been targeted in the hacking campaign. A judge ruled that 15 of the pieces “were the product of phone hacking” or other unlawful practice.
Morgan, who edited the Daily Mirror between 1995 and 2004, has consistently denied wrongdoing. After the December ruling, Morgan made his own blistering public statement describing Harry as someone who “wouldn’t know the truth if it slapped him around his California-tanned face,” and alleging that the prince’s “real mission, along with his wife, is to destroy the British monarchy.”
Harry’s settlement Friday means two more trials concerning another 115 articles will no longer take place.
“Everything we said was happening at Mirror Group was in fact happening, and indeed far worse as the court ruled in its extremely damning judgment,” Harry’s statement read. “As the judge has said this morning, we have uncovered and proved the shockingly dishonest way the Mirror Group acted for many years and then sought to conceal the truth.”
He added: “As I said back in December, our mission continues. I believe in the positive change it will bring for all of us.”