Piers Morgan has said he is “not going to take lectures on privacy invasion” from the Duke of Sussex amid allegations of phone hacking while he was editor of the Daily Mirror newspaper.
Prince Harry is one of a number of high-profile figures bringing claims against Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) over alleged unlawful information gathering at its titles in a seven-week trial which began on Wednesday. The tabloid publisher “unreservedly” apologised to the prince for an instance of unlawful information gathering at the start of the hearing.
Journalist and broadcaster Morgan, who was editor of the Daily Mirror between 1995 and 2004, was later asked by an ITV reporter if he would also apologise to the royal over the claims.
The 58-year-old said: “All I am going to say is I am not going to take lectures on privacy invasion from Prince Harry, somebody who has spent the last three years ruthlessly and cynically invading the royal family’s privacy for vast commercial gain and told a pack of lies about them.
“So I suggest he gets out of court and apologises to his family for the disgraceful invasion of privacy that he’s been purporting.”
“I think Prince Harry should be apologising for his disgraceful invasion of privacy of the royal family and others by the way,” he added.
This afternoon Morgan tweeted a screenshot from a recent South Park episode that mocked the royal couple for going on a ‘world wide privacy tour’.
In 2021, Morgan made headlines after leaving Good Morning Britain following an on-air clash with weather presenter Alex Beresford over the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s interview with Oprah Winfrey.
‘I’m not going to take lectures on privacy invasion from Prince Harry.’
Amid allegations of phone hacking while he was at the Mirror, Piers Morgan tells ITV News Harry should apologise to the royal family for ‘invasion of privacy he’s been perpetrating’https://t.co/P3RH5guPSb pic.twitter.com/4uGvezu5y6
— ITV News (@itvnews) May 10, 2023
Morgan said he did not believe Meghan’s claims from the headline-making special, with his comments sparking more than 50,000 complaints – the most in Ofcom’s history.
The watchdog later ruled Good Morning Britain was not in breach of the broadcasting code over Morgan’s comments.
At the start of the trial, barrister David Sherborne said the case featured unlawful activities on an “industrial scale carried out across three newspapers over a period of about 20 years or so”.
Mr Sherborne told a hearing in London: “It was a flood of illegality. But worse still, this flood was being authorised and approved of by senior executives.”
Addressing Harry’s case, the barrister said his claim covered the period 1995 to 2011 and is “significant not just in terms of the span but also the range of activities”.
MGN’s barrister Andrew Green KC, in written submissions, said the publisher denied that 28 out of the 33 articles in Harry’s claim involved phone hacking or other unlawful information gathering.
Instead, he said that stories came from a variety of other sources – including other members of the royal family. The barrister added that it was “not admitted” that five of the 33 articles contained unlawful information gathering.