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Prince Harry, Elton John, and others accuse newspaper of phone-tapping and additional breaches of privacy

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Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images

Duke of Sussex Prince Harry, singer Elton John, and other celebrities filed a lawsuit on Thursday against the Daily Mail news website, accusing the outlet of phone-tapping and other privacy breaches.

According to Reuters, additional plaintiffs in the lawsuit include actresses Elizabeth Hurley and Sadie Frost; Elton John's husband, filmmaker David Furnish; and Doreen Lawrence, the mother of a teenager who was murdered in London in 1993.

The law firm Hamlins, representing some of the individuals in the case, alleged that the Daily Mail placed listening devices inside cars and homes to listen to private phone calls. The lawsuit also accused journalists with the newspaper of providing payments to police officials in exchange for sensitive information and impersonating individuals to obtain medical records.

The case stated that the plaintiffs became aware of "highly distressing" evidence that they were victims of a privacy breach by the Daily Mail and its publisher, Associated Newspapers.

Hamlins reported, "They 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."

The law firm said it is representing Prince Harry and Sadie Frost in the case against the widely read newspaper. Elton John, Elizabeth Hurley, David Furnish, and Doreen Lawrence are being represented by the law firm Gunnercooke.

Associated Newspapers provided a statement on Sunday in response to the allegations, calling the claims "unsubstantiated and highly defamatory."

"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," a spokesperson for Associated Newspapers stated.

"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."

In February, Prince Harry filed a libel lawsuit against the Mail on Sunday, an online newspaper also published by Associated Newspapers. He claimed that the statements in one of the articles regarding his legal battle with the British government were defamatory. A judge at the High Court in London agreed and ruled in Harry's favor.

Prince Harry's wife, Meghan Markle, also won a privacy lawsuit against the publisher in December when the Mail on Sunday printed a letter she had written to her father.

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