Elton John is part of a group suing the publishers of the UK tabloid The Daily Mail for “abhorrent criminal activity and gross breaches of privacy,” Deadline reports. Prince Harry, actors Elizabeth Hurley and Sadie Frost, activist Doreen Lawrence, and John’s partner David Furnish are also joining the suit.
The Daily Mail is helmed by Associated Publishers, who also pub The Mail on Sunday and The Mail Online. In a statement, lawyers for the plaintiffs accused Associated Publishers of hiding listening devices in their cars and homes with the aid of private investigators.
They allege that the publishers also obtained confidential information by paying cops “with corrupt links to private investigators,” as well as impersonating individuals to access medical records. The suit claims that the publishers were able to access bank accounts “through illicit means and manipulation.”
“The alleged crimes represent the tip of the iceberg,” the statement continued. “[The six] have banded together to uncover the truth and hold the journalists responsible fully accountable, many of whom still hold senior positions of authority and power today.”
The accusations echo the 2011 phone hacking scandal that sunk Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid, News of the World. A spokesperson for Associated Newspapers acknowledged as much, saying the group “utterly and unambiguously refute these preposterous smears which appear to be nothing more than a pre-planned and orchestrated attempt to drag the Mail titles into the phone hacking scandal concerning articles up to 30 years old.”
“These unsubstantiated and highly defamatory claims – based on no credible evidence – appear to be simply a fishing expedition by claimants and their lawyers, some of whom have already pursued cases elsewhere,” he continued.
Prince Harry already won a legal victory over Associated Publishers earlier this year, and his wife, Meghan Markle, also successfully sued them for libel.
Last month, President Biden surprised Elton John with the National Humanities Medal. The month before, he collaborated with Britney Spears on the “Tiny Dancer” remix “Hold Me Closer,” which we named Song of the Week.