The 38-year-old prince’s 55-page written witness statement was released on Tuesday as Harry took the stand — and the lengthy document includes mentions of his late mother, Princess Diana, his brother, Prince William, and his exes Caroline Flack, Chelsy Davy and Natalie Pinkham.
“It is no secret that I have had, and continue to have, a very difficult relationship with the tabloid press in the UK,” he wrote. “In my experience as a member of the Royal Family, each of us gets cast into a specific role by the tabloid press. You start off as a blank canvas while they work out what kind of person you are and what kind of problems and temptations you might have. They then start to edge you towards playing the role or roles that suit them best and which sells as many newspapers as possible, especially if you are the ‘spare’ to the ‘heir.’ You’re then either the ‘playboy prince,’ the ‘failure,’ the ‘drop out’ or, in my case, the ‘thicko,’ the ‘cheat,’ the ‘underage drinker,’ ‘irresponsible drug taker,’ the list goes on.”
Harry, who married Meghan Markle in 2018, noted that the British media would “report on my successes in life” but “took greater pleasure in knocking me down” over the years, including in his romantic relationships.
“Chelsy Davy, a former girlfriend of mine. We met in about early 2004 and were in a relationship which continued, on and off, until around mid-2010. Our relationship was long distance for the majority of the time we were together, with Chelsy and I often living in different countries, so we relied on communicating by phone a lot,” he wrote. “We, naturally, spoke about all types of personal matters, including all aspects of our relationship and this was often through voicemail. As my girlfriend, I trusted Chelsy with the most private of information and vice versa.”
Harry claimed that his and Davy’s past travels were tracked via voicemails as their outings were interrupted by journalists and photographers. “Ultimately, these factors led her to make the decision that a Royal life was not for her, which was incredibly upsetting for me at the time,” he wrote.
Throughout the lengthy document, which cites several stories published over the years, the former military pilot detailed having trust issues with his inner circle over leaks about his private relationships.
“[William and I] would often speak over the phone and regularly left voicemails for one another containing very private and sensitive information about our private, family and professional lives,” he wrote. “We would discuss our personal relationships, education and careers as well as social arrangements over the telephone and voicemails. I am aware that my brother was also a victim of phone hacking and unlawful information gathering.”
He also included Princess Kate, writing: “Catherine and my brother started dating in 2003. We occasionally exchanged voicemails in which we discussed private and sensitive matters regarding our family and personal lives. We would also make plans for social arrangements over voicemail.”
In a section about Diana, who died in 1997, Harry wrote that he was “shocked, disgusted and appalled when I was shown by my solicitors three hand-written letters from her to the well-known television personality, Michael Barrymore.”
“They are dated 23 March, 25 April and 2 June 1997, respectively and convey my mother’s concerns for Mr Barrymore’s well-being and kindly offering him a shoulder to cry on,” Harry wrote. “All three letters were written during Piers Morgan’s editorship of the Daily Mirror. … The thought of Piers Morgan and his band of journalists earwigging into my mother’s private and sensitive messages (in the same way as they have me) and then having given her a ‘nightmare time’ three months prior to her death in Paris, makes me feel physically sick.”
Harry further detailed “unusual mobile activity” he experienced over the years.
“I wouldn’t go into my voicemail unless the little envelope symbol flashed up on my phone signalling to me that I had a new message,” he wrote. “Sometimes this symbol would vanish before I had a chance to listen to the voicemail. I don’t know how long after they’d been listened to that the symbol vanished, presumably straight away. I also distinctly remember people saying to me ‘did you not get my voicemail?’ on both a personal and a work-related level. I was like, ‘no’, and sometimes I would go back into my voicemail to look for it but still couldn’t find it.”
The Mirror Group has denied the allegations of utilizing phone hacking to report on Harry, insisting that their reporters used legal reporting techniques, including public statements, documents and insiders, to write about the prince.