The Sun Ignored Legal Warnings to Publish Prince Harry Photos

The first UK newspaper to publish the naked photos of Prince Harry was The Sun, although the lawyers of the Royal Family warned them this can be considered a breach of the Prince`s privacy.

One of the hottest news around the world is related to the photos taken during the Prince`s holiday in Las Vegas. According to the rumors several girls have been invited to Harry`s hotel room where they engaged into playing strip billiards. The two pictures of naked Harry were first published online by the celebrity gossip website TMZ. Once published the pictures Splash News started offering the rights of the pictures to different media for a five-figure sum. Several UK agencies showed interest in buying them but most of them drew back after the Press Complaints Commission has been contacted by Harbottle & Lewis, a UK law firm acting for St. James` Palace.

The letter sent by the company to the PCC stated that the publication of these photos would violate three of the PCC’s editors’ code of practice which forbids publication of photographs taken of an individual in a private place without their consent.

However, The Sun  bought the rights and published the photos today. They stated they believe the photos should be published because they are of interest to the public and they will provoke meaningful discussions related to the 27-year-old Prince.

Another point stated was that the Prince himself is responsible for compromising his privacy. In addition, the photos were easily accessible on-line so there was no reason not to publish them. They cited a previous PCC ruling which allowed a magazine to publish photos which were already made public.

The letter from Harbottle & Lewis strongly disagrees with this claim by saying that no matter the photos were published by different media, there is no excuse to publish them in the UK.

What the Sun did was not very-well accepted by many people, including John Prescott, who said that the Sun had shown “absolute utter contempt” for the recent Leveson enquiry into media ethics, as well as the law in general. He added “It is not about privacy. It is about money, money, money.”

The Sun already scandalised the public, by publishing a re-enactment of the Prince Harry situation featuring a Sun reporter and a female intern. By doing so they went “too far” according to public opinion. The Sun denied to have forced the girl to take her clothes off for the picture.