In new court documents, Prince Harry is airing some royal-family secrets.
According to papers submitted by the prince’s legal team on Tuesday, Prince William received a “very large sum of money in 2020” from Rupert Murdoch’s British newspaper company, The Washington Post reports. While the exact amount wasn’t specified, the money was given to William to settle phone-hacking claims.
The payout was revealed as part of Harry’s suit again Murdoch’s News Group Newspapers (NGN). The prince alleges that the company carried out unlawful acts, including hacking his voicemails, from the mid-1990s to 2016 on behalf of The Sun and the former News of the World tabloid. Hearings are currently being held to determine whether the case should go to trial.
“It is important to bear in mind that in responding to this bid by NGN to prevent his claims going to trial, the claimant has had to make public the details of this secret agreement, as well as the fact that his brother, His Royal Highness, Prince William, has recently settled his claim against NGN behind the scenes,” the court documents said.
In the papers, Harry claims that the money was part of a secret deal between NGN and Buckingham Palace in which the latter wouldn’t bring more legal action against Murdoch’s company until other phone-hacking cases were settled, the Post noted. It would also keep members of the royal family from having to give evidence in court.
Now, NGN is working to dismiss Prince Harry’s current case, claiming the royal waited too long to file suit. However, Harry counters that the delay was only because of the secret deal between NGN and Buckingham Palace.
The fight with NGN comes amid a number of other media-related cases Prince Harry is dealing with. In March, he appeared in court over a dispute with the Daily Mail, and next month he’s expected to give evidence in a claim against the publisher of the Daily Mirror and the Sunday Mirror, also related to phone-hacking allegations. That case is scheduled to begin shortly after the coronation of King Charles III, and it remains to be seen which event will be more drama-filled.