…By Lola Smith for TDPel Media.
In the ongoing legal battle between the Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry, and Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN), a former journalist testified in the High Court denying any involvement or awareness of phone hacking.
Jane Kerr, who worked for MGN from 1991 to 2010, stated that she had never intercepted a voicemail and wouldn’t even know how to do it.
Harry is suing MGN, claiming that journalists at the publisher’s titles were involved in unlawful information gathering, including phone hacking and the use of private investigators for illegal activities.
Under cross-examination by Harry’s barrister, Kerr affirmed that she had performed her job properly and honestly.
The barrister referred to a previous court ruling that acknowledged the habitual and widespread interception of voicemails and unlawful information gathering across all three newspapers owned by MGN.
However, Kerr maintained that she remained uninvolved and unaware of these activities.
Kerr faced questions regarding articles she had written about Prince Harry, including details about his health and personal relationships.
She repeatedly claimed not to remember or know the sources of certain information.
In her witness statement, Kerr explained that, as a royal correspondent, she relied on her contacts and would occasionally contact palace press offices for verification or additional information.
She also mentioned the involvement of the then editor of the Mirror, Piers Morgan, in providing information for stories.
The questioning focused on specific articles, such as one from 2002 about Harry’s alleged drug use and another from 2005 about his relationship with his former girlfriend, Chelsy Davy.
Kerr admitted she did not recall the details of these stories or the sources of certain quotes.
The barrister suggested that the removal of certain details from the published article indicated possible phone hacking, but Kerr denied knowledge of such activities and maintained that she obtained information from legitimate sources.
At the end of Kerr’s testimony, the judge asked her if she would ever fabricate information for a story.
She adamantly denied ever doing so and stated that she felt a responsibility to the palace and that she would not cross any ethical lines.
MGN is contesting Harry’s claims and has either denied or not admitted to engaging in phone hacking or unlawful activities.
The trial, which began last month, also involves three other claimants, including actor Michael Le Vell, actress Nikki Sanderson, and comedian Paul Whitehouse’s ex-wife Fiona Wightman.
The focus of the trial now shifts to Sanderson’s individual claim.
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