The Sun paid private investigator to obtain personal information on Meghan Markle

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The publisher of The Sun newspaper has denied breaching privacy laws after it paid a private investigator to obtain information on Meghan Markle in the early days of her relationship with Prince Harry.

Daniel Hanks, a private detective based in Los Angeles, claims he used unlawful means to compile a dossier on Meghan in 2016 that included her phone number, addresses and social security number.

He told the BBC: “Pretty much everything I found out they could find out themselves using legal means – with the exception of the social security numbers.

“When you have that information … it’s the key to the kingdom.”

News Group Newspapers, which publishes The Sun, said it paid Mr Hanks $250 “to research contact details and addresses for Meghan Markle and possible relatives using legal databases which he had a license to use”.

But the company added in a statement: “Mr Hanks was not tasked to do anything illegal or breach any privacy laws – indeed he was instructed clearly in writing to act lawfully and he signed a legal undertaking that he would do so.

”The information he provided could not and did not raise any concerns that he had used illegal practices to obtain the information.

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