Elton John joins celebrities at Daily Mail High Court hearing
Sir Elton John has arrived at the High Court for a hearing in his claim against Daily Mail publisher Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL) over allegations of unlawful information-gathering.
The singer, who arrived at the court wearing a grey suit, is one of a number of high-profile individuals bringing claims against the publisher over allegations of misuse of private information at its titles.
The Duke of Sussex today attended the hearing in person. Other claimants are actresses Ms Frost and Elizabeth Hurley, Sir Elton and his husband David Furnish, Baroness Doreen Lawrence and former Lib Dem MP Sir Simon Hughes.
In a joint statement released in October, the group said they had become aware of "compelling and highly distressing evidence that they have been the victims of abhorrent criminal activity and gross breaches of privacy".
They claim the newspaper group “habitually utilised unlawful information gathering as part of the modus operandi of preparing stories“ during the relevant period.
The publisher strenuously denies the allegations, which it has described as “preposterous smears” and a “pre-planned and orchestrated attempt to drag the Mail titles into the phone hacking scandal”.
The preliminary hearing scheduled for this week will allow Mr Justice Nicklin to determine whether the case can continue.
Sir Elton sat at the back of the large courtroom, arriving shortly before the hearing resumed for the afternoon.
The court heard that Sir Elton and his husband David Furnish found the unexplained disclosure of their private information in the press "frightening" and as a result have someone watching cameras in their home every night.
Some details of the singer-songwriter and his husband's case against ANL were revealed in the publisher's written arguments for a preliminary hearing this week.
ANL's lawyer Adrian Beltrami KC quoted the pair as claiming that the "repeated, wrongful disclosures... had a serious and profound effect upon (them) at the time of their publication", that they were aware of "the extent to which Associated publicised private and sensitive information relating to their private and family life", and they "became deeply paranoid and suspicious by unexplained disclosures of their private information in (Associated's) publications, even where measures were taken to protect their privacy".
Mr Beltrami said they stated that they "found these disclosures frightening, and as a consequence now have someone watching the cameras in their home of residence every night".
However, Mr Beltrami said their case was being brought too late, arguing "there can be no doubt that by the start of 2016 Sir Elton and Mr Furnish were very much alive to the issue of (unlawful information gathering) by the press".
The barrister added that "they have not provided any satisfactory explanation as to what necessary fact, as opposed to evidence, they did not know by October 2016 to articulate the essential elements of a claim against Associated".
This is a breaking story, more to follow.