Sun suffers effects of ‘news’ drought

This entry was posted on
Tuesday, August 15th, 2006
at
6:00 pm and is filed
under Rupert ‘The Evil One’ Murdoch.

MediaGuardian – Sun’s Harry pictures ‘three years old’: The Sun’s front page and centre-spread photographs of Prince Harry groping and kissing a girl are three years old and were not taken this summer as the newspaper claims today, according to Clarence House. There also appears to be a question mark over how the photographs came to be published, with Clarence House claiming that their owner, Natalie Pinkham – the girl whose breast Prince Harry is pictured fondling – did not give her permission for them to be printed. The Sun’s page one, headlined “Dirty Harry” and tagged “picture exclusive”, claims that the six photographs were taken “this summer in trendy nightclub Boujis”. But Paddy Haverson, Prince Charles’ communications secretary, told MediaGuardian.co.uk that the pictures were taken at another nightclub, Purple, in September 2003 – before Prince Harry began dating his current girlfriend Chelsy Davy. “The pictures are three years old and we have asked the Sun to correct it,” said Mr Haverson. The allegation throws the story’s central claim – that the Prince cheated on his girlfriend – in doubt. It is the third time in a year that Clarence House has claimed the newspaper has published incorrect pictures of the 21-year-old prince.

UPDATE – Independent – Police called in over ‘stolen’ pictures of woman with Harry: The Sun’s photographs of Prince Harry cavorting with a blond television presenter have already soured relations between the red-top press and royal family, and yesterday they became the subject of a criminal inquiry, as the Metropolitan Police began an investigation into how the newspaper obtained them. The television presenter Natalie Pinkham, who owned the original shots, contacted Fulham police to report that several hundred negatives from her private collection had been stolen while she moved house earlier this summer. Copies were later sold to The Sun, which reprinted them on Tuesday under the front-page headline “Dirty Harry.” One showed the Prince kissing Pinkham’s neck, while apparently fondling her breast. The newspaper was then forced to issue an apology for its article, which alleged that the photographs had been taken this summer at Boujis, a London night-spot, when in fact they were more than three years old… her lawyers have also launched a legal action against the Daily Mail, which reprinted the allegedly stolen photographs on Wednesday under the headline: “Harry’s fury over nightclub snaps.”… “The whole affair has been horrible for her. She would never do anything to embarrass the princes,” said (a) friend. “The photos had always been kept completely secret, and only two other people, her brother and a friend, even knew they existed.” Although a firm of professional movers was employed to take her possessions between the two properties, which are less than a mile apart, they are not thought to be implicated in the theft. “Natalie was very careful to make sure the removal men didn’t handle any of her sensitive stuff,” said the friend. “She has her suspicions as to who actually did take the negatives, and is upset and angry that they would seek to profit from her in this way.” Pinkham is understood to be taking the legal action against the Mail to make sure the images are never reprinted. Such action was not threatened against The Sun because they have already conceded that the photographs do not belong to them.

UPDATE – Observer – Ginger snaps: Sun editor Rebekah Wade, was so incensed over the mistake that led to the paper printing out-of-date photos of Prince Harry that she allegedly threw a phone at her hapless picture editor. It is unclear whether it was of the mobile or landline variety, but our own hotline is open to anyone who can shed further light on the incident.








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