Prince Harry Testifies in Court for Landmark Cellphone Hacking Trial
It has been a rough few weeks for royals-in-self-exile Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle. Chased by the paparazzi,
It has been a rough few weeks for royals-in-self-exile Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle.
Chased by the paparazzi, iced out of family well-wishes for their daughter’s birthday, snubbed at the coronation.
But things heated up even more for the couple this week as Harry faced down the British tabloids in a landmark lawsuit against the Mirror newspaper group, on charges that they hacked his cellphone more than a decade ago.
On Monday, Harry told the court that “some editors and journalists do have blood on their hands.”
The New York Times writes, “Harry, speaking quietly and in measured tones, stuck to his claim that the Mirror’s journalists hacked his phone and those of people close to him. There was no other way, he said, that they could have discovered his whereabouts in certain situations, or the details of a schoolyard injury, without using illegal methods.
There were moments when Harry was able to make a broader point of principle about the conduct of the press. Asked by Mr. Green if the public had an interest in knowing about his youthful drug use, Harry shot back: ‘There’s a difference between public interest and what interests the public.’”
And he returned to the stand again Tuesday.
Absolutely right from Prince Harry 👇
“Our country is judged globally by the state of our press and our Government – both of which are at rock bottom.”
“Democracy fails when your press fails to scrutinise and hold the Government accountable.”https://t.co/NOtW6apInF
— Chris Shaw (@The_ChrisShaw) June 6, 2023
At one point today, Harry pointed out an incident with his then-girlfriend Chelsy Davy. Harry says that one article referred to a “tongue lashing down the phone” by Davy over a party at which he was said to have been seen with another girl.
“I have no idea how anyone would know that,” Harry said of the information. He suggested that hacking his friend’s phone is a likely explanation for how they obtained it. When asked why that friend had not been called to give evidence, Harry replied, “I would want to spare most of my friends from this experience.”
Harry has also referenced a voicemail between himself and brother William containing information that the press then reported on.
Harry is the first high-profile royal to testify in court in over a century, and his battle against the tabloids has caused a major rift with his London royal family.
It is understood that the British royals have somewhat of an agreement with the tabloids, allowing them choice information and peeks into their private lives in a controlled manner.
But Harry maintains that the tabloids go beyond the established boundaries, using nefarious means to spy on royal family members and causing distress – both emotional (such as he and wife Meghan experienced) and physical (such as in the death of his mother, Princess Diana).
Diana was famously killed in a car accident after a high-speed chase with paparazzi in the ’90s, and it seemed at the time like the royal family made sympathetic noises but never really changed the system that drove the beloved woman to her death.
Harry, as her son, has now experienced the ceaseless hounding of the tabloids.
Unlike his brother Prince William and father King Charles, Harry chafed under the constant onslaught of privacy violations and speculation.
When those tabloids turned against Harry and his wife Meghan, it was time to leave. That’s what led to the infamous Megxit – where Harry and Meghan declared they were stepping back from royal life in 2020.
Charles and William have reportedly pled with Harry (sometimes forcefully) to get him to drop the hacking lawsuit, but Harry seems determined to get some justice for his family – both himself and his wife, and his mother.