Prince Harry took to the witness stand in his phone-hacking trial against Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) on Tuesday.
The 38-year-old became the first senior member of the British royal family in more than 130 years to give evidence when he appeared in the witness box in London’s High Court on Tuesday.
The Duke of Sussex is suing MGN, the owner of the Daily Mirror, the Sunday Mirror and the Sunday People, for allegedly gathering information on him using illegal means.
In addition to his appearance in court, Harry provided a 49-page written witness statement in which he claimed that the tabloid press cast him as a “thicko”, an “underage drinker” and an “irresponsible drug taker”, reports The Guardian.
“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,” he wrote.
“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.”
Harry claimed that the press intrusion into his life left him feeling paranoid and depressed and that he felt like the media wanted him to be single as it made him “more interesting”.
The royal also alleged that Piers Morgan, the former editor of the Daily Mirror, listened to his mother Princess Diana’s “private and sensitive” messages and gave her a “nightmare time” three months before she died in Paris in 1997.
His testimony continues.
– Cover Media