Despite a long first day on the stand, he arrived at the Rolls Building with a smile. Inside, he quickly got back to business answering questions related to his claims that publications within Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) used unlawful and deceptive methods — including phone hacking — to get information for stories about him that ran in the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and Sunday People between 1996 and 2010.
Harry, who's the first senior royal to give testimony since the 1890s, along with more than 100 others — actors, sports stars, celebrities and people connected to famous figures — are suing MGN, claiming that journalists or private investigators hired by the outlets carried out this hacking on an "industrial scale." MGN, which previously admitted to publishing stories based on phone hacking, denied hacking Harry's phone. The civil case is looking at 33 articles about Harry — son of Britain's King Charles III — that he alleges were obtained unlawfully, including ones about his relationship with ex Chelsy Davy and a disagreement he acknowledged having with Prince William.
Harry, who now resides in California with wife Meghan Markle after stepping down as a senior royal in 2020, told the publisher's attorney that he'd feel "injustice" if it was found that he wasn't hacked, saying, "To have a decision against me and any of the other people [bringing a claim], given that Mirror Group have admitted hacking, yes, it would feel like an injustice ... if it wasn’t accepted."
He also asserted that the hacking — which accessed voicemails left by friends and family — could have been occurring "on a daily basis. I simply don't know." He said for publications, "the risk is worth the reward for them."
He was also observed to be emotional at the end of his testimony while being questioned by his own lawyer, saying of experience, in front of a global audience, "It's a lot."
Here were the biggest takeaways from Wednesday's testimony.
Harry claimed a tracking device was put on former girlfriend Chelsy Davy’s car
He told the court that he once found a tracking device on the car of his then-girlfriend. He alleged it was placed there by a private investigator, Mike Behr, who he has accused in other cases of targeting him for info.
A lot of the articles in this case stem from when Harry was in a long-distance relationship with Davy, whom he dated from 2004 to 2010. He said they communicated a lot by phone about all types of personal matters, including all aspects of our relationship, and often through voicemail. They ultimately split when Davy decided "royal life was not for her."
Harry says hackings provided private details about Davy romance, spats
Harry talked about an article ("DavyStated") about a fight he and Davy reportedly had in 2007. He said, "I really cannot understand how the defendant's journalists obtained such specific details for this article... Given the hours I was working at the time, it's likely Chelsy and I did exchange voicemails even more often than normal, so I now believe that this information must have come from the hacking of our voicemails."
As for the article saying the info was obtained by "palace sources," Harry said he "certainly wasn't discussing our relationship in these kind of details with anyone inside the Palace." He went so far to say that he "never discussed any details with the Palace about by relationship with my girlfriend, so attributing such information to a palace source is incredibly suspicious."
Another article — also in 2007 — was about how Harry was "drowning his sorrows" after being "dumped" by Davy. He claimed unlawful tactics were used to source the story. "How would they have known this?" he asked in court. In his witness statement, he said the two bylined reporters on the story can be be linked to having paid private investigators on various occasions.
He became emotional at the mention of the late Caroline Flack
Harry said he "very much" remembers a article about his night out with Flack, who he dated in 2009, and noted that the TV presenter, who died by suicide in 2020, is "no longer with us.
In his statement, Harry said paparazzi were hiding underneath a car outside where they were meeting, saying, "I was so shocked —and livid — that the two photographers from ... knew where we would be and were already there, waiting for us to arrive." He had exchanged voicemails about where they planned to meet — and he didn't speak of it otherwise — so he said he had to have been hacked for that info to be known.
Harry getting lap dances was a court topic
He was asked about a 2006 article (titled: "Chel Shocked") about Davy being upset about his "boozy" evening at a "sleazy strip joint" at which he got a lap dance. The articled cited a "highly placed source" who claimed she went "berserk" on him and "slammed the phone down because she was too angry to even speak."
Harry said the detail in the story about the length of the phone calls was so specific that it had to be due to hacking. He also said there are two payments to private investigators, which he connected to the story. He said, "It seems likely to me that the defendant's journalists had access to one of our phone records and put two and two together to make a story."
The story led to a follow-up story ("Prince of Lapland"), which they discussed as well. "That's a classic example where a story originates from a different paper and then the Mirror ... which is one step behind — is encouraged to go out and get extra information."
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