Hacking trial: Princess Diana leaked information about Prince Charles to the press, court hears


Princess Diana tried to recruit the News of the World as an “ally” in her battle against Prince Charles by leaking an internal telephone directory to the tabloid's royal editor, the jury in the phone hacking trial has been told.

Clive Goodman said the royal court intrigue initiated by Diana, Princess of Wales, was part of her wider plan to “take on” her estranged husband by exposing the sheer scale of his staff, challenging  Clarence House's claims that he lived a “modest” life.

Goodman, who the jury was told was jailed for phone hacking in 2007 when he worked at the Rupert Murdoch-owned newspaper, said Princess Diana “wanted to show that there were forces that would rage against him [Prince Charles]”.

Goodman is jointly charged with Andy Coulson, the former editor of the NOTW who later became David Cameron's communications chief in Downing Street. The crown's case states that both men were involved in a conspiracy to commit misconduct in public life by paying officials for internal royal directories. Fifteen of the confidential directories were found at Goodman's Surrey home by police.

Both Goodman and Mr Coulson deny conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office [the bribery] charges against them.

David Spens QC, Goodman's leading counsel, asked him how he had obtained one of the directories in 1992.

The court heard that a package had arrived for Goodman at the NOTW's Wapping office in London's docklands. It had his name on it, and eventually came to his mail box on the newsroom floor.

Charles and Diana had recently separated after 11 years of marriage, and Goodman told the court that the princess was “going through a very, very difficult time”.

He said that Diana had called him to check if he had received the directory, which gave a detailed breakdown of all the royal household staff, who they would report to, and their contact details.

In the telephone call, Goodman said the princess “told me she wanted me to see the scale of her husband's staff and household compared to others.”

He added: “She felt she was being swamped by people close to his [Charles'] household” and had been looking for an “ally” to “take him on - to show that there were forces  that could rage against him.”

According to Goodman, Princess Diana had similar relationships with senior journalists at the Mail, the BBC, and her eventual biographer, Andrew Morton.

Goodman denied that any of the directories found at his home had come from public officials or police officers. He also denied making payments for any of the directories, or that he had ever paid public officials for stories.

Mr Spens also asked about the culture that existed throughout Goodman's 20 years at the NOTW. The court heard that he became royal editor in 2000, and had enjoyed a good relationship with Rebekah Brooks when she edited the NOTW.

However Goodman told the court that when Mr Coulson succeed her in 2003, he turned into an “aggressive” and bullying“ editor, influenced, he said, by the ”old school“ journalist he appointed deputy editor, Neil Wallis.

Goodman said that Mr Wallis made no secret of disliking him, had initiated a sequence of demotions, and was instrumental in creating an ”aggressive combative, bullying culture.

He told the court that the internal competition was so fierce, that a senior journalist in one department had effectively destroyed an investigation by another department.

The court heard that the Mazher Mahmood, known as the 'Fake Sheikh' was investigating a top model, described as a “household name” who was operating as a up-market £2000 a night prostitute in Europe.

However the model's agent was tipped off by the NOTW journalist not involved in the story, and told a sting was being prepared. The story was never published the court heard.

Earlier in court, Mrs Brooks' defence was concluded when her mother Deborah Weir, 70, said that in the days which followed the public outcry over the revelation that Milly Dowler's phone had been hacked by the NOTW, she was told by her daughter not to watch television news or read newspapers.

Mrs Weir, who travelled regularly from her Cheshire farm to London in July 2011 to offer comfort and assistance to her daughter in the period that involved the closure of the NOTW and Mrs Brooks' eventual arrest by police, denied knowledge of, or recognising,  any attempt to conceal evidence at locations in Oxfordshire, including the Brooks' family home.

She told the court “It was an awful time, an awful moment. Traumatic for me, as well as Rebekah.”

Mrs Brooks, Mr Coulson and the five others in the trial deny all the hacking, bribery and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice charges against them.

The case continues.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksA celebration of British elections
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
Fans take a selfie with Ed Miliband in Kempston, near Bedford, on Tuesday
election 2015
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power