Prince Harry Slams “Vile” Press and Testifies Against Tabloid Publisher

Prince Harry delivered a scathing rebuke of the “vile” press on Tuesday as he testified against a tabloid publisher in a London court. Accusing the tabloids of destroying his adolescence and personal relationships, Harry became the first senior British royal in over a century to appear as a witness in a legal case. During his testimony, he expressed his revulsion at the unlawful intrusion into the life of his late mother, Princess Diana.

Prince Harry, fifth-in-line to the throne, is among 100 individuals suing Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN), the publisher behind the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror, and Sunday People, over allegations of widespread illegal information gathering between 1991 and 2011.

In a comprehensive 50-page written witness statement, as well as hours of cross-examination, Harry detailed how he had been targeted by the press since his school days in 1996. He revealed that tabloids relentlessly sought to undermine his relationships, leading to his breakup with Chelsy Davy, isolating him from his friends, and contributing to bouts of depression and paranoia.

Labelling him a “playboy prince,” a “thicko,” a “failure,” and a “drop out,” the tabloids’ behavior, according to Harry, was reprehensible. He accused them of inciting “hatred and harassment” in his and his wife Meghan’s private lives.

Expressing his anguish, Harry asked, “How much more blood will stain their typing fingers before someone can put a stop to this madness?” He clarified that his remark referred to the editors and journalists responsible for causing immense pain, distress, and, in some cases, unintended loss of life.

While initially extending an apology on behalf of MGN for one instance of admitted unlawful information gathering, MGN’s lawyer, Andrew Green, adopted an increasingly hostile tone during the cross-examination. Green questioned Harry about 33 newspaper articles, suggesting that the distress he experienced stemmed from press coverage in general rather than the specific MGN stories. He implied that the information in those articles was already in the public domain.

Maintaining his composure, Harry, the first senior British royal to provide evidence in over a century, insisted that the origins of the articles should be questioned by the journalists who wrote them, as he found the sources suspicious.

Harry’s appearance at the court drew public attention, with supporters expressing their love for him as he entered and exited the proceedings. His lawyer, David Sherborne, previously highlighted Princess Diana’s victimization by hacking, which Harry referenced in his witness statement, specifically blaming former Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan. However, Morgan, who currently works for Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, has consistently denied any involvement or knowledge of phone-hacking or illegal activities.

MGN, now owned by Reach, has previously acknowledged its involvement in phone-hacking and settled more than 600 claims. However, Green argued that there was no evidence to suggest Harry had ever been a victim. MGN asserts that some of the personal information involved in the case was obtained with the consent of senior Buckingham Palace aides, including one of Harry’s father’s former top officials.

Throughout the trial, Harry and three other test cases have accused MGN of carrying out illegal activities with the knowledge and approval of senior editors and executives.

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