Lawyer closes Prince Harry’s phone hacking case by questioning former tabloid reporter

Prince Harry’s lawyer concluded his account of the royal family’s case against the newspaper’s publisher on Thursday by questioning a former tabloid reporter about information pasted into articles by then-editor Piers Morgan.

On the final day of testimony, lawyer David Sherborne questioned former Daily Mirror royal correspondent Jane Kerr, whose byline appears on several of the 33 articles Harry called examples of illegal intrusion by the publisher of Mirror Group Newspapers.

The lawyer suggested to Kerr that some of the information in her stories was obtained as a result of phone hacking.

“That’s absolutely not true,” Kerr said with a hint of anger.

“I have never intercepted voice mail. I wouldn’t even know how,” Kerr added. She also denied knowledge of violations of the law by any freelance journalists or private detectives hired by the paper.

Kerr admitted in her written witness statement that Morgan, who edited the Daily Mirror between 1995 and 2004, “sometimes fed or added information to the story” without knowing its source.

When asked by Sherborne about quotes in one story, she said: “I can’t say exactly where I got them from, because I can’t remember. Perhaps Pierce gave them to me.

Morgan denies knowing about the phone hacking at the Mirror, and the company disputes Harry’s claims. The Mirror Group has previously paid more than £100 million ($125 million) to settle hundreds of lawsuits for illegal information gathering and printed an apology to the victims of phone hacks in 2015.

Harry, who flew in from his home in California to testify earlier in the week, did not appear in Supreme Court on Thursday. He spent a day and a half on Tuesday and Wednesday as a witness, answering questions about his allegation that British tabloids had illegally followed his life throughout his childhood and adolescence.

He alleges that the Mirror newspapers hacked phones, bugged cars and used other illegal methods to obtain personal information, which they spit out as royal sensations. He said the invasion poisoned relationships with friends, teachers and girlfriends – and even caused friction with his brother Prince William – and led to “bouts of depression and paranoia.”

The Mirror Group newspapers have apologized for one instance in which they hired a private detective to unearth compromising evidence on Harry, which was not in their lawsuits. He either denies or does not recognize his claims.

Harry, 38, is one of four plaintiffs whose lawsuits against Mirror Group Newspapers are being heard together in London’s High Court. The hearing will run until the end of June, with Judge Timothy Fancourt likely to make his decision in a few weeks.

Harry left royal life in 2020, citing unbearable media attention and alleged racism towards his wife Meghan, and made it his mission to reform the British media. He is also suing two other newspaper publishers for hacking.

© Copyright 2023 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed without permission.