Prince Harry and Sir Elton John go back a ways, in friendship and in charitable effort, pictured above in 2016 at the International Aids Conference in South Africa. They are, also, associated as celebrities in a joint libel action with Sir Elton’s husband and partner David Furnish, actresses Elizabeth Hurley and Sadie Frost, against Associated Newspapers (ANL), the publisher of London’s redoubtable tabloid, the Daily Mail and its associated titles, including the Mail On Sunday. The action alleges that employees of the publisher knowingly engaged in unlawful techniques for gathering information on the individual celebrities in the action, including the placing of illegal microphones in automobiles and the hacking of mobile phones and assorted other illegal methods.
The case, brought by barrister David Sherbourne for the group, has been mired for some time by a series of motions by the legal team for the defendant questioning whether the claims were outdated and/or without merit. On Friday, November 10, Judge Matthew Nicklin rendered that defense claim baseless, finally clearing the way to trial.
The trial, if it is not somehow miraculously settled as per the cliche, on the courthouse steps, will be spectacular. Of the group bringing the charges, Prince Harry and Elton John are clearly the two who bear what we might call global celebrity wattage, but neither man has been shy of appearing in court in support of the, for them, successful swordplay to date. That means that they would be only too delighted to keep that ball rolling.