Prince Harry has blamed the U.K. tabloids for the breakdown of his relationship with ex-girlfriend Chelsy Davy.
On Tuesday, the Duke of Sussex stepped into a courtroom witness box to hold the British press accountable for its “destructive” role throughout his life. The 38-year-old is the first senior member of the British royal family to testify in over a century as he held a Bible in his right hand and, in a soft voice, swore to tell the “whole truth and nothing but the truth” in the High Court in London.
The youngest son of King Charles III accuses the publisher of the Daily Mirror of using unlawful techniques on an “industrial scale” to score front-page scoops on his life.
In a written testimony filed to the High Court in London, Harry said “the prying eyes of the tabloids” strained his relationship with the Zimbabwe-born businesswoman. He noted it was “the main factor” in why they decided to call it quits.
Prince Harry arrives to give evidence at the Mirror Group Phone hacking trial at the Rolls Building at High Court on June 6, 2023, in London. (Leon Neal/Getty Images)
Much of Harry’s case against Mirror Group Newspapers, focuses on details he believed were leaked concerning his relationship with Davy, 37, The New York Times reported. He claimed newspaper articles routinely mentioned private conversations that wouldn’t have been obtained without using illicit means.
Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of the Duke of Sussex (left) with his counsel David Sherborne (right) giving evidence at the Rolls Buildings in central London, with Mr. Justice Fancourt (centre) looking on, during the phone hacking trial against Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN). (Elizabeth Cook/PA via Alamy)
Harry pointed out one article that alleged Davy gave him “a tongue-lashing down the phone” for flirting with another woman at a party. In his written testimony, Harry said the details of their phone conversations weren’t attributed to sources. He also mentioned another article that described “an emotional phone call” involving Davy.
Harry admitted he regretted cutting friends out of his life out of fear they were the sources of the leaks.
The case dates from 1996 to 2011.
“You have to wonder what Meghan makes of Harry’s testimony regarding Chelsy,” Christopher Andersen, author of “The King,” said to Fox News Digital. “They were together for eight years and seemed headed for the altar. Is the assumption here that Chelsy was really Harry’s first choice and that they would have married if it hadn’t been for the intrusive tabloid press? Meghan can’t be too happy about that, I would imagine.”
Meghan Markle, an American actress, became the Duchess of Sussex when she married Prince Harry in 2018. (Daniel Leal/AFP)
“Chelsy did say after their final breakup that all the tabloid press attention was crazy, full-on, just too much for her to bear,” Andersen continued. “She was a free spirit and wanted something approaching a normal life – and she knew she’d never have that being Harry’s wife. The specter of living her life in a royal fishbowl proved too much, and she fled back home to Zimbabwe.”
“Chelsy Davy is incredibly private, rejected the limelight, and has a brand-new baby,” Kinsey Schofield, host of the “To Di For Daily” podcast, told Fox News Digital. “I highly doubt she enjoys Harry rehashing her youth as she navigates motherhood. And as a likely victim of such an egregious violation of her personal life… I do hope that she was warned or asked permission before Harry decided to reopen this wound.”
Mirror Group Newspapers attorney Andrew Green asked Harry to identify what evidence he had of phone hacking in specific articles, and Harry repeatedly said he’d have to ask that question of the journalist who wrote it. He continually insisted that the manner in which information had been obtained was highly or incredibly suspicious.
He said some of the journalists had been known for hacking or that there were invoices to third parties, including private investigators known for snooping, around the time of the articles.
Harry has made a mission of holding the U.K. media to account for what he sees as their hounding of him and his family.
Mirror Group has paid more than 100 million pounds ($125 million) to settle hundreds of unlawful information-gathering claims and printed an apology to phone hacking victims in 2015.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex reside in California with their two young children, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet. They stepped down as senior royals in 2020. (Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage)
But the newspaper denies or hasn’t admitted any of Harry’s claims.