Prince Harry has alleged that Piers Morgan “knew about, encouraged and concealed” illegal information-gathering on his mother, the late Princess Diana, when the journalist was an editor of the News of the World in the ’90s.
The 38-year-old Duke of Sussex claimed in a court filing, obtained by The Guardian, that the former Princess of Wales’ private text messages and phone calls were accessed by journalists working for Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid newspapers before her tragic death in Paris in August 1997. The information was allegedly used as the basis for multiple stories in The Sun as well as News of the World.
Morgan, along with former News of the World editors Phil Hall and Bob Bird as well as former Sun editors Stuart Higgins and David Yelland, allegedly knew about and hid the illegal targeting of Princess Diana, then-Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles, according to the court documents.
Prince Harry included a list of articles published during Morgan’s time as editor of News of the World between January 1994 and August 1995, claiming that they all resulted from illegal information-gathering.
The articles include:
- “Di’s cranky phone calls to married Oliver; She called 3 times in 9 minutes and hung up as she heard Oliver’s voice” – a story about Princess Diana’s alleged relationship with art dealer Oliver Hoare
- “Di’s roam alone” – a story about the former Princess of Wales spending the holidays in the U.S., leaving her sons Prince William and Prince Harry behind with other members of the royal family
- “Di and Fergie bury the hatchet” – a story about a private meeting between Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson
- “It’s Diana or me; Di: Will’s my dear friend – not my lover; Carling sneaked into palace when boys went out” – an article about Princess Diana’s rumored fling with England rugby player Will Carling
- “Di’s VJ Day fury over Tiggy” – an article about an alleged fight between Princess Diana and former royal nanny Tiggy Legge-Bourke
Many of the stories were reportedly written by former News of the World royal correspondent Clive Goodman, who was jailed in 2007 for illegally hacking the phones of several aides of the royal family between November 2005 and August 2006.
One of the stories allegedly based on illegally gathered information was written by former New of the World reporter Gary Jones, who now works as an editor of the Daily Express.
Prince Harry’s allegations were part of his phone-hacking claim against Murdoch’s company News Group Newspapers (NGN), the publisher of The Sun and News of the World. The case is being heard at London high court.
NGN has denied that any illegal behavior took place. according to The Guardian.
Morgan has yet to release an official statement regarding the allegations against him. However, he previously denied having any direct knowledge of phone hacking during his time as editor of the Daily Mirror in the early 2000s, including in relation to a story exposing Jeremy Clarkson for allegedly having an affair.
“I’ve never hacked a phone nor told anybody to hack a phone,” Morgan previously told The Guardian.
However, in 2022, court filings by lawyers acting for alleged phone hacking victims claimed that during Morgan’s time as editor, a Daily Mirror reporter had “been carrying out VMI [voicemail interception] on Mr. Clarkson and trawling his phone bill” with the help of a private detective agency.
Morgan was fired as editor of the Daily Mirror in 2004. Two years ago, he also quit ITV’s “Good Morning Britain” after making controversial remarks about Prince Harry’s wife, Meghan Markle. He now hosts a nightly show on Murdoch’s TalkTV channel.