Sir Elton ‘outraged’ and ‘mortified’ by newspaper wiretapping allegations

Sir Elton and Furnish appeared before the Royal Courts of Justice in London on Monday for the start of a four-day hearing into privacy claims brought by the couple against Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL).

Along with the Duke of Sussex, Baroness Doreen Lawrence of Clarendon, Sadie Frost, Liz Hurley and former Lib Dem MP Sir Simon Hughes, the couple are filing claims over allegations that they carried out or commissioned illegal or unlawful information gathering, including access to and recording of private telephone conversations.

ANL says it strongly denies that there was any illegal information gathering in its newspapers and that the legal claims against it were filed too late.

Documents filed on behalf of the couple, made available to the media on Monday, state that the landline phone at their home in Windsor was “tapped by private investigators acting on the instructions of Associated.”

David Sherborne, on behalf of the couple, said: “The plaintiffs are outraged that Associated engaged in these illegal and tortious acts to publish unlawful articles about them.

“They are also mortified to consider that all their conversations, some of which were in fact very personal, were recorded, packaged and consumed as a commercial product for journalists and other strangers to pick up, regardless of whether they were published or not.

“The pain remains the same, knowing that their lives have been treated like a commodity and their precious and priceless moments of privacy degraded in this way.”

Sherborne said that, in addition to having his landline phone tapped, Sir Elton’s personal assistant and the couple’s gardener were also allegedly attacked.

He continued: “In particular, they consider their private home a sacred space.

“Knowing now that this was ruthlessly invaded, their home so violated, and their family and loved ones attacked, all through illegal acts designed to steal and exploit their information, is inexcusable for them.”

The lawyer also said that Sir Elton and Mr Furnish were “appalled” by allegedly illegal items obtained by accessing medical information.

He continued: “Worse still was Associated’s illegal obtaining of their first child’s birth certificate, before they themselves had seen a copy.

“They were heartbroken by the derogatory headline Associated attached to it, clearly calculated to make a profit and create public sensation about an event they had so carefully saved to keep it valuable.”

Sherborne continued: “They may never know the true extent of the intrusion they have been subjected to and certainly the consequences of that.

“They are truly appalled that the individuals involved in what occurred still hold senior executive positions within Associated newspapers, and believe these individuals should now be held accountable for what they did during these proceedings.”

ANL’s lawyers argue that the privacy claims against it could have been filed before October 2016 and that it is too late for them to be heard now.

They say the cases are “stale” and should be dismissed without trial, and that it is up to the people bringing the claims to show that they did not know before, or could not have discovered before, that they might have had a claim against ANL. .


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