- Prince Harry and Baroness Doreen Lawrence are joined by Elton John in group action.
- Private Investigators allege that landlines were tapped – a much more serious offence than phone hacking.
- Further allegations include breaking into cars and bugging homes.
- Lawyers claim that medical records were ‘blagged’ from hospitals and bank statements were obtained by deception.
- Actresses Liz Hurley and Sadie Frost also suing the controversial papers.
- Elton John’s husband David Furnish claims he was targeted by illegal newsgathering.
- However, the paper’s long-serving Editor-in-Chief Paul Dacre denied his papers hacked phones in sworn evidence at the Leveson Inquiry.
- If it turns out the Mail were involved and he knew, Dacre potentially faces 51 weeks in jail for misleading a public inquiry.
- Dacre’s forthcoming ennoblement now in doubt
The Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and Mail Online are being sued for alleged burglaries and landline phone tapping.
Seven claims have been issued at the High Court and sent to the Mail HQ in London.
The claimants include:
- Baroness Doreen Lawrence, justice campaigner and mother of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence.
- Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex.
- Elton John, singer, songwriter, jointly with his husband David Furnish, filmmaker
- Elizabeth Hurley, actress and model.
- Sadie Frost, actress.
A press release stated: ‘Each of these individuals have become aware of various elements of compelling and highly distressing evidence which show that in different ways they have each been the victims of abhorrent criminal activity and gross breaches of privacy by Associated Newspapers.’
The most shocking name on the list is Baroness Doreen Lawrence of Clarendon, 69.
Her son Stephen Lawrence was brutally murdered in 1993 in a racist knife attack in Eltham, South East London.
But her agony was increased when prejudiced and corrupt cops failed to bring the killers to justice for nearly a decade, while the gang taunted the Lawrence family with insults and lies.
The Daily Mail has constantly boasted about its controversial front page of February 14, 1997 in which it accused five men of being guilty of Stephen Lawrence’s murder.
But in a astonishing development, Baroness Lawrence now alleges that the newspaper was unlawfully invading the privacy of the Lawrence family at the same time it professed to be championing their cause.
Baroness Lawrence’s lawyers allege that the same paper who fought for justice were also secretly and illegally spying on her, in a bid to protect the reputation of its journalists.
A spokesperson for the group said that ‘the unlawful acts alleged to have taken place in relation to one or more of the claimants’ include:
- The hiring of private investigators secretly to place listening devices inside people’s cars and homes
- The commissioning of individuals surreptitiously to listen into and record people’s live, private telephone calls whilst they were taking place
- The payment of police officials, with corrupt links to private investigators, for inside, sensitive information
- The impersonation of individuals to obtain medical information from private hospitals, clinics, and treatment centres by deception
- The accessing of bank accounts, credit histories and financial transactions through illicit means and manipulation
The allegations have sent shockwaves across Fleet Street.
In February 2012, Paul Dacre tried to distance his papers from the hacking scandal, which has cost rival Rupert Murdoch between an estimated £1 – £3 billion.
Dacre told the Leveson Inquiry that the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday did not use phone hacking.
Challenged on this at the Inquiry, Mr. Dacre said: “I can be as confident as any editor, having made extensive enquiries into the newspapers’ practices – and held an inquiry – that phone hacking was not practiced by the Mail on Sunday or the Daily Mail. You know that because I gave this inquiry my unequivocal assurances.”
Giving false or distorted testimony to public inquiry under oath is a jailable office under s35 of the Inquiries Act.
Sources close to the litigation claim that the case is not just about ‘a bunch of celebrities trying to protect their privacy.’
The source told Expose.News and sister site Bylineinvestigates.com: ‘The litigation against the Daily Mail is about finding out the truth.
‘It’s not about a load of moaning celebrities, trying to stop newspapers from printing stories about their personal lives.
‘It’s not about money.
‘Two of the six claimants are not celebrities.
‘One of them is a victim of crime.’
An official legal spokesperson added: ‘It is apparent to each of these individuals that the alleged crimes listed above in relation to them individually represent the tip of a bigger iceberg – and that many other innocent people remain unknowing victims of similar terrible and reprehensible covert acts.
‘These individuals have now therefore banded together to uncover the truth, and to hold fully accountable the relevant journalists, many of whom still hold senior positions of authority and power today.
‘These individuals have all been the subject of public interest during the course of their careers and personal lives.
‘They are united in their desire to live in a world where the press operates freely yet responsibly – a press which represents truth, is sourced in fact and can be trusted to operate ethically and in the interests of the British public.’
Prince Harry is the most high profile claimant.
His legal team will allege that reporters at the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday paid investigators to target his girlfriends and pals.
ANL is the third newspaper group that the Duke of Sussex is suing for unlawful information gathering.
In a separate action, he is also suing the MoS for libel, following his wife Megan Markle’s successful defamation case against the Sunday papers last year.
His cases against Rupert Murdoch’s News Group Newspapers and Reach’s Mirror Group Newspapers – which have between then had to shell out hundreds of millions of pounds in damages and legal costs as a result of hacking claims – have been rumbling on since October 2019, and may go to trial next year.
The legal action comes after more than 50 stories were published on Expose.News and Bylineinvestigates.com revealing unlawful information gathering at Mail papers.
Elton John, David Furnish, Liz Hurley and Sadie Frost have previously settled hacking claims against the News of the World.
History was made in June last year when News Group settled a claim in the first ‘Sun-only case,’ paying substantial damages which lawyers claim proves that hacking occurred at the daily red-top, even though it was always denied by Mr Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks.
This new strand of litigation – which saw Sienna Miller and Gazza follow suit in December last year – is expected to open the floodgates for many more claims against The Sun.
The cases against Associated News Limited are being led by barrister David Sherborne of 5RB chambers, who also runs most of the managed phone hacking litigation against News Group Newspapers and Mirror Group.
One of the solicitors is Callum Galbraith, of Hamlins, who represents Sadie Frost and Prince Harry. He is also the Lead Solicitor in the News Group Litigation
Doreen Lawrence, Elton John, David Furnish and Liz Hurley are represented by Anjlee Sangani at Gunnercooke.
Between them, this group of lawyers have brought hundreds of claims for phone hacking against News Group and Mirror Group.
Press release: Various Claimants vs. Associated Newspapers Limited
6 October 2022
Today a group of people have launched a legal action against Associated Newspapers, publishers of The Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday and the Mail Online.
The group behind this legal offensive are: Baroness Doreen Lawrence of Clarendon OBE; Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex; Sir Elton John and David Furnish; Elizabeth Hurley; and Sadie Frost.
These individuals have become aware of compelling and highly distressing evidence that they have been the victims of abhorrent criminal activity and gross breaches of privacy by Associated Newspapers. Unlawful acts alleged to have taken place include:
The hiring of private investigators to secretly place listening devices inside people’s cars and homes
The commissioning of individuals to surreptitiously listen into and record people’s live, private telephone calls whilst they were taking place
The payment of police officials, with corrupt links to private investigators, for inside, sensitive information
The impersonation of individuals to obtain medical information from private hospitals, clinics, and treatment centres by deception
The accessing of bank accounts, credit histories and financial transactions through illicit means and manipulation.
It is apparent to these individuals that the alleged crimes listed above represent the tip of the iceberg – and that many other innocent people remain unknowing victims of similar terrible and reprehensible covert acts.
They have now therefore banded together to uncover the truth, and to hold the journalists responsible fully accountable, many of whom still hold senior positions of authority and power today.
These individuals have been the subject of public interest during the course of their careers and personal lives. They are united in their desire to live in a world where the press operates freely, yet responsibly. A press that represents truth, is sourced in fact and can be trusted to operate ethically and in the interests of the British public.
Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex, and Sadie Frost are represented by Hamlins LLP.
Baroness Doreen Lawrence of Clarendon OBE, Elizabeth Hurley and Sir Elton John and David Furnish are represented by gunnercooke.
David Sherborne of 5RB is Counsel for all the Claimants instructed by Callum Galbraith of Hamlins LLP and Anjlee Sangani of gunnercooke.
All queries to email@example.com
Hamlins Media Communications | Hamlins LLP