Prince Harry is among the celebrities testifying this week in a lawsuit accusing a tabloid publisher of phone tapping and invasion of privacy, and in a written filing of his testimony, the British royal says he didn't learn about the phone tapping until 2019, but that his legal team now has evidence it started in 2001 and continued until at least 2013. He is among a group of people suing Associated Newspapers Limited, the publisher of the Daily Mail, and he testified that he has learned ANL hacked voicemails, tapped landlines, and got credit card statements related to Harry and his romantic partners at the time, NBC News reports. One of those was Chelsy Davy, and he recalled in his testimony how leaked information about the couple left him terrified for her safety.
As for why he didn't know about the alleged phone tapping until years later, he said in a witness statement submitted to the court that the royal family instilled in him its "never complain, never explain" policy for dealing with the media, People reports. He says the royals even had a secret deal with Rupert Murdoch's newspapers not to sue that media company until its own phone hacking case was over so as not to open a "can of worms," the Guardian reports. After he got together with Meghan Markle, however, and especially after their son was born in 2019, he decided to take matters into his own hands and hire his own legal counsel to find out what had gone on. "The Institution was without a doubt withholding information from me for a long time ... and that has only become clear in recent years as I have pursued my own claim with different legal advice and representation," he said.
Harry also referred to tabloid journalists as "criminals," Reuters reports. ANL denies all the allegations against it. Harry has appeared in court Monday and Tuesday in London; royal experts tell Fox News that his father and brother have no plans to give him a "warm reception" back to the UK or, in fact, even to see him at all—and that Harry himself, who is believed to be staying with friends, is no more likely to be looking for a meeting during this trip. "Harry's trip to London has one goal and one goal only—he is entirely focused on the legal cases he and Meghan Markle are pursuing against the UK press," one of them explains. (Read more Prince Harry stories.)