Prince Harry targets Rupert Murdoch in phone hacking lawsuit, alleges mogul was involved in a cover-up

Prince Harry targets Rupert Murdoch in phone hacking lawsuit, alleges mogul was involved in a cover-up - Business and Finance - News

Rupert Murdoch Faces Personal Lawsuit Allegations in U.K.: Cover-up of Wrongdoing

Rupert Murdoch, the media tycoon, is at risk of being personally involved in another major lawsuit in the United Kingdom. Lawyers for notable public figures, including Prince Harry, Guy Ritchie, and Hugh Grant, have asked the U.K. court for permission to amend their existing lawsuit against News Group Newspapers (NGN), the parent company of The Sun tabloid and defunct News of the World. They have accused Murdoch of personally covering up wrongdoing, an explosive allegation that could significantly impact his reputation.

Background: Illegal Privacy Invasions and Hacking

The lawsuit, filed in 2019, accuses NGN of illegal privacy invasions, including hacking, which occurred from the mid-1990s to 2016. The lawyers for these public figures now wish to include claims that Murdoch knowingly provided false information regarding the matter and that Rebekah Brooks, a top Murdoch lieutenant, also lied or gave misleading evidence.

Executives’ Actions and False Claims

The lawyers claim that executives at the newspaper group, including Murdoch and his son James (then-executive chairman), promoted false claims that only “one rogue reporter” was responsible for the News of the World scandal. They also allege that these executives attempted to buy the silence of senior staff members involved in the cover-up.

NGN’s Response

NGN has aggressively pushed back on these allegations, stating that they are a “scurrilous and cynical attack on their integrity.” The company argues that some of the allegations date back to events thirty years old and that they are irrelevant to the current issues between the parties. They also want to put the scandal to bed, as it has been ongoing for over fifteen years.

Potential Ramifications: U.K. and U.S

This high-profile suit poses a significant threat to Murdoch’s legacy as he enters the twilight of his career. It comes on the heels of multiple damaging lawsuits against Fox News, which is Murdoch’s profitable crown jewel in his global media empire. Moreover, former deputy Will Lewis, who now serves as CEO and publisher of The Washington Post, is also facing allegations of engaging in the alleged cover-up. (Lewis denies all wrongdoing.)

Historical Context: Previous Phone Hacking Scandal

The phone hacking scandal, which rocked Murdoch’s media empire over a decade ago, marked one of the lowest moments in his career. At that time, NGN issued an apology to victims, Murdoch shut down News of the World, and the company has since settled hundreds of legal cases stemming from the scandal. However, illegal phone hacking was not unique to Murdoch’s U.K. publications. The country’s tabloid press had a reputation for aggressively digging up celebrity dirt, and just last year, a court ruled that Harry was also the victim of “extensive” phone hacking by Mirror Group Newspapers. Harry is also suing the publisher of The Daily Mail. Moreover, he claimed that Murdoch’s newspapers paid his brother, Prince William, a “large sum” to settle hacking claims.


In summary, Rupert Murdoch faces personal allegations of cover-up involvement in the U.K.’s ongoing lawsuit against NGN. These claims have the potential to impact not only Murdoch but also his former deputy, Will Lewis, and Murdoch’s reputation as a whole. With previous phone hacking scandals and the ongoing Fox News lawsuits in the United States, this situation warrants close attention from media observers.