Prince Harry may have to settle Murdoch lawsuit after Hugh Grant deal, says lawyer

Prince Harry may have to settle Murdoch lawsuit after Hugh Grant deal, says lawyer

LONDON--British actor Hugh Grant has settled a lawsuit against the publisher of Rupert Murdoch's tabloid newspaper, The Sun, he said on Wednesday, while the lawyer for Prince Harry said the royal could also be "forced" to agree a deal.

Grant, alongside King Charles' son and others, was suing News Group Newspapers (NGN) for alleged widespread unlawful information gathering, including landline tapping, burglary and "blagging" confidential information about him. His case was one of several which were eligible to go to trial at London's High Court in January, but the actor said he had reluctantly settled with NGN because he could be left with a multi-million pound legal bill if he rejected their offer now, even if he later won the lawsuit. "News Group are claiming they are entirely innocent of the things I had accused the Sun of doing," Grant posted on X. "As is common with entirely innocent people, they are offering me an enormous sum of money to keep this matter out of court." Grant, famous for films such as "Love Actually", "Paddington 2" and "Notting Hill", said if he was awarded less in damages after a trial than NGN had offered him now, he would be liable to pay the fees of both sides' lawyers. "Rupert Murdoch's lawyers are very expensive," Grant said. "So even if every allegation is proven in court, I would still be liable for something approaching 10 million pounds in costs. I'm afraid I am shying at that fence." David Sherborne, the lawyer for both Grant and Harry, told a hearing at the High Court in London on Wednesday that the prince and other claimants also face a similar predicament and have settlements "forced" upon them. "The Duke of Sussex is subject to the same issues that (actress) Sienna Miller and Hugh Grant have been subject to, which is that offers are made (which) make it impossible for them to go ahead," Sherborne said. NGN said the settlement with Grant was "in both parties' financial interests not to progress to a costly trial." Miller settled a lawsuit against NGN in 2021, which her lawyers said at the time was because of the risk of having to pay millions of pounds in legal fees even if she won.

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