Elton John, Prince Harry and more sue Daily Mail publisher over ‘gross breaches of privacy’

Elton John commemorates Queen Elizabeth. (Getty)

A group of high-profile celebrities have launched a major lawsuit against The Daily Mail and associated websites for “gross breaches of privacy.”

The group, including Sir Elton John and Prince Harry, claimed that they had “become aware of compelling and highly distressing evidence” that they were the victims of “abhorrent criminal activity” by the publishing company Associated Newspapers.

Brands affiliated with the publisher include The Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday, and The Mail Online.

According to a Thursday (6 October) Twitter thread by BBC home affairs correspondent Daniel Sandford, the rest of the group includes David Furnish, Elizabeth Hurley, and Sadie Frost.

It also includes Baroness Doreen Lawrence, the mother of the Black teenager Stephen Lawrence who was murdered in a racially motivated hate crime in 1993.

Hamlins LLP, who is representing Harry and Frost, said in a statement that the “unlawful acts alleged to have taken place” include various privacy breaches, including “the hiring of private investigators to secretly place listening devices inside people’s cars and homes.”

Lawrence, Hurley, John, and Furnish are being represented by gunnercooke LLP according to Reuters.

The group of celebrities also alleges that the publisher commissioned individuals to “surreptitiously listen into and record people’s live, private telephone calls,” as well as falsely impersonating individuals to obtain private medical records and bank accounts.

Shockingly, they also allege that police officials “with corrupt links to private investigators” were bribed for private and sensitive information.

“[The group] have now therefore banded together to uncover the truth, and to hold the journalists responsible fully accountable, many of whom still hold senior positions of authority and power today,” Hamlins LLP told Reuters.

The accusations are also concerning when compared to Harry and Meghan’s relationship with the British tabloid press. The pair declared they would have “zero engagement” with major British newspapers after increased harassment.

During a February interview with James Cordon, Harry said: “It was a really difficult environment as a lot of people saw. We all know what the British press can be like.

“It was destroying my mental health. I was like, this is toxic,” he continued. “So I did what any husband [or] father would do – I need to get my family out of here.”

Speaking to PinkNews, a spokesperson for Associated Newspapers said: “We utterly and unambiguously refute these preposterous smears which appear to be nothing more than a pre-planned and orchestrated attempt to drag the Mail titles into the phone hacking scandal concerning articles up to 30 years old.

“These unsubstantiated and highly defamatory claims – based on no credible evidence – appear to be simply a fishing expedition by claimants and their lawyers, some of whom have already pursued cases elsewhere.”