Thursday, 18 Apr 2024

Prince Harry admits he no longer believes key claim in ‘Spare’ is true

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    Prince Harry has admitted he no longer believes a passage from his memoir as it was based on an "assumption".

    The Duke of Sussex told the High Court in London on Tuesday (June 6) he initially believed a story about his Eton pals shaving his head as a joke had made it to the papers after a friend leaked it, the High Court heard.

    The claim later appeared in the best-selling book, Spare, released in January of this year – but just five months on, it seems the Prince has formed a different viewpoint.

    "As a kid at school, I could never have imagined how they got wind of that story so I made the assumption [that a friend leaked it]," Harry said.

    He continued in court: “Now, some many years later, it seems that probably wasn’t the case."

    Harry is taking the stand this week against MGN, which he has accused of using unethical methods to obtain information about him, in the first of his media lawsuits to go to trial.

    It is the first time a senior royal has testified in court in 130 years – previously his Edward VII, then a prince, appeared in a slander trial over a card game.

    The Duke of Sussex added the media's alleged intrusion into his personal life had had an impact on his social life causing him to lose friends who became "paranoid".

    "Unfortunately many of those friends, who became paranoid over the time, are no longer my friends," he said.

    "The more this happens over time, the less you share with people… I become paranoid about the people around me."

    The royal noted two articles in particular published in 2002 that reported he had done drugs with some of his pals.

    "The fact that the defendant’s journalists were trying to drag some of my friends into this and name and shame them sickens me," his 55-page witness statement read.

    "Not only did I have the stress and worry about who I could trust with any personal details about myself, but I also knew I had to worry about anyone that I was close to becoming a target for the defendant."

    Harry took his opportunity on the stand to reiterate that he believes both stories were the product of unlawful information-gathering.

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    MGN maintains it used documents, public statements, and proper sources to lawfully report on young Harry's life.

    A statement from the company said: “Where historical wrongdoing has taken place, we have made admissions, take full responsibility and apologise unreservedly, but we will vigorously defend against allegations of wrongdoing where our journalists acted lawfully.

    "MGN is now part of a very different company. We are committed to acting with integrity and our objective in this trial is to allow both the business and our journalists to move forward from events that took place many years ago.”

    The claim against this former schoolmates is one of a swathe of bombshell allegations made in his memoir, Spare, including comparing the Royal Family to a "death cult" and accusing his family members of sharing stories about him with the press in a bid to protect themselves.

    Harry also wrote his famous ginger barnet "never fully recovered after letting [his] Eton classmates shave it off," causing him to start losing his hair.

    • Prince Harry
    • Royal Family
    • Courts

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