While Prince Harry is still on the witness stand at the Supreme Court in London, British media such as "The Guardian" and "BBC" publish excerpts from his testimony. They quote from a 49-page written testimony that was presented at the start of the court hearing. The royal is taking action against the media group Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) and is one of several plaintiffs who accuse the publisher of illegally gathering information.
Accordingly, the youngest son of King Charles III. , how the British tabloids created his public character and how much he still suffers from it to this day. "They push people to play the role or roles that suit them best and that will sell as many papers as possible, especially if they're the 'surrogate' of the 'heir,'" Harry said. He was labeled a "cheater," "underage drinker," and more. "Finally, as a teenager and in my early 20s, I felt like I lived up to a lot of the headlines and stereotypes they tried to foist on me, mostly because I thought they were going to print that nonsense about me and people." It was a "downward spiral". "Thinking back now, such behavior on their part is absolutely despicable."
He always had the feeling "that the tabloids wanted me to be single because I was much more interesting to them and I sold more newspapers". The hacking of his phone would have affected not only him but also his relationships. "I would say her actions affected every area of my life. It triggered a great deal of paranoia in my relationships. I immediately became suspicious of anyone named in a story about me." He had the feeling that he couldn't trust anyone anymore - "which was a terrible feeling for me, especially at such a young age".
The publisher's illegal methods also led to dangerous situations. He often wondered how journalists knew where he was. But they would have known about his flight plans through phone hacking, for example. He described a situation at the airport: "Here were five tall, burly and dodgy looking men, with their hands in their pockets or in backpacks and satchels in a busy public place. My security and I just couldn't know if they were grabbing the camera or draw any weapon."
He often lived in fear. "I now realize that my acute paranoia about being constantly monitored was not out of place. As a child, in my teens, I was attacked by the press for most of my life, until now," the prince said.
He also remembered his mother Diana (1961-1997). "The thought of Piers Morgan and his group of journalists hearing my mother's private and sensitive messages (...) makes me physically ill and even more determined to blame those responsible, including Mr Morgan, for their despicable and totally unjustified behaviour to be held accountable." He continued, "How much more blood will stain their typing fingers before anyone can put an end to this madness." Editors and journalists "caused a great deal of pain, excitement and, in some cases, unintentional death." And while Harry said this wasn't referring to any specific person, he may also be referring to his mother's accidental death.
Harry is expected to stand on the witness stand again tomorrow.