Prince Harry on Tuesday said he had suffered a lifelong “press invasion” and accused some media of having blood on their hands, as he became the first royal in more than 100 years to give evidence in court.
Harry, 38, said he had been the victim of relentless and distressing media intrusion “most of my life up until this day” and attacked negative portrayals of him as the “spare to the heir”.
“How much more blood will stain their typing fingers before someone can put a stop to this madness,” the younger son of King Charles III added in a witness statement.
“You’re then either the ‘playboy prince’, the ‘failure’, the ‘dropout’ or, in my case, the ‘thicko’, the ‘cheat’, the ‘underage drinker’, the ‘irresponsible drug taker’, the list goes on.
“As a teenager and in my early 20s, 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… It was a downward spiral,” he said, calling the reporting “utterly vile”.
Harry is accusing Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) Ltd, Publisher of The Mirror, Sunday Mirror and the Sunday People tabloids of illegal information gathering, including phone hacking.
During cross examination by MGN’s lawyer Andrew Green, Harry admitted that he had no recollection of reading the majority of the articles he had complained about.
But he called them “incredibly invasive” and taken as a whole they had made him acutely paranoid and ruined his relationships.
Channelstv / Titilayo Kupoliyi