Prince Harry says UK govt, media at ‘rock bottom’

London: Prince Harry has accused Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) Ltd — publisher of The Mirror, Sunday Mirror and the Sunday People tabloids — of illegal information gathering, including phone hacking. He has become the first royal in more than 100 years to give evidence in court. At London High Court, the Duke of Sussex accused tabloid newspapers of hacking his voicemails when he was a teenager.

According to a BBC report, he said he made him feel he “couldn’t trust anybody”. He said that 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”. The duke said that stories he believed originated from hacking not only caused security concerns but damaged his relationships.

He accused the press of repeatedly trying to break up his relationships, saying the “twisted objective” continues today. “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”.

According to a BBC report, The Mirror group’s lawyer said he had sympathy for the duke, but denied journalists’ actions were “all unlawful”.

The case is Harry’s latest legal battle with the press since he stepped down from frontline royal duties in early 2020 and relocated to California with his American wife Meghan.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

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