Prince Harry has taken British tabloids to court for alleged “harassment and phone hacking”.


Harry testified in a London court against Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) on Tuesday — becoming the most senior member of the royal family to be cross-examined since the 1890s.

The prince is suing MGN for damages, claiming its journalists opted for unethical methods to obtain information, as well as using private investigators and phone-hacking tactics.

In his witness statement, the royal also claimed tabloids hacked his voicemail and used “unlawful methods to get stories”.


Harry said he remembered people asking him if he got their voicemails, either personal or work-related.

The Duke of Sussex also said the leaked voicemails created a distorted version of him and his life to the public.

The 38-year-old claimed some of the “unlawfully released information” had affected his relationship with Meghan Markle, his wife.


He also described how the tabloid media created public characters of him — such as “drug taker, playboy prince, the cheat” — which he claimed shaped how people viewed him.

“I genuinely feel that in every relationship that I’ve ever had – be that with friends, girlfriends, with family or with the army, there’s always been a third party involved, namely the tabloid press,” he said.

“Members of the Royal Family get cast into a specific role by the tabloid press. As spare to the heir, you’re then either the playboy prince, the failure, the drop out, the thicko, the cheat, the underage drinker, irresponsible drug taker.

“As a teenager and in my early twenties, I ended up feeling as though I was playing up to a lot of the headlines and stereotypes that they wanted to pin on me mainly because I thought that, if they are printing this rubbish about me and people were believing it, I may as well do the crime so to speak.


“It was a downward spiral, whereby the tabloids would constantly try and coax me, a damaged young man, into doing something stupid that would make a good story and sell lots of newspapers.

“Looking back on it now, such behaviour on their part is utterly vile. I remember on multiple occasions hearing a voicemail for the first time that wasn’t new.

“I would simply put it down to perhaps a technical glitch or even just having too many drinks the night before and having forgotten that I’d listened to it.

“Sometimes the voicemail envelope symbol would vanish before I had a chance to listen to the voicemail. I also distinctly remember people saying to me, did you not get my voicemail?


“I was like, ‘no’, and sometimes I would go back into my voicemail to look for it but still couldn’t find it. I now understand their significance in terms of phone hacking. I believe that both mine and my associates’ voicemail messages were hacked by the defendant.”

The prince also tendered “33 pieces of evidence” to back up his statement.

MGN denied allegations that Harry was a victim of phone hacking. The newspaper also said there is no call data or first-hand evidence to back up the claim.


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