Prince Harry took to the stand in London’s High Court after his Monday absence to share his testimony in the phone-hacking case against Mirror Group Newspapers Limited. In new shocking details, Harry even addressed speculation that he’s the biological son of Major James Hewitt.
Prince Harry gave opening statements in the first ever cross examination since the 19th century for a royal family member. The case against the publishers behind the Daily Mirror, The People, and The Sunday Mirror claims that the group unlawfully obtained information about the royals over the course of several years.
The former royal family member appeared on June 6th at London’s High Court to share his statements on the impending legal trial. Paparazzi spotted Harry stepping out of his vehicle to enter the building in which no cameras are allowed whatsoever.
However, in the witness statement obtained by the New York Times, the Duke of Sussex accuses the tabloids of trying to coax stories out of him growing up and even addresses longstanding rumors about his family the media has spun.
Detailed in the statement, the former royal family member references a December 2022 article published by The People titled “Plot to rob the DNA of Harry.” As Harry noted, the article reported “a plot to steal a sample of my DNA to test my parentage.”
The ‘Spare’ author also went on to say, “Numerous newspapers had reported a rumor that my biological father was James Hewitt, a man my mother had a relationship with after I was born,” he wrote. “At the time of this article and others similar to it, I wasn’t actually aware that my mother hadn’t met Major Hewitt until after I was born.”
Harry noted that he only learned about the timeline of these events around 2014, several years after the speculation around his biological father emerged.
Other press also picked up stories like this one, and the former pilot noted that the shocking article from The People came out when he was only 18-years-old and had just lost his mother six years prior.
And of course, the now California based resident pointed out that much of the press coming out in the early 2000s was “damaging and real” at the time.
Harry mentioned, “They were hurtful, mean and cruel. I was always left questioning the motives behind the stories. Were the newspapers keen to put doubt into the minds of the public so I might be ousted from the Royal Family?”
In addition, Harry previously mentioned this speculation and gave his point of view about his biological father rumor in his memoir Spare.
The Duke of Sussex stated in the novel, “One cause of this rumor was Major Hewitt’s flaming ginger hair, but another cause was sadism. Tabloid readers were delighted by the idea that the younger child of Prince Charles wasn’t the child of Prince Charles. They couldn’t get enough of this ‘joke,’ for some reason. Maybe it made them feel better about their lives that a young prince’s life was laughable.”
Noted once again in the trial, Harry mentioned that the timeline did not add up, and his mother didn’t meet Major Hewitt until long after he was born. The former royal stated the story was “too good to drop.”
Harry’s June 6th comments came just one month after he received an apology from Mirror Group Newspapers for one single instance of unlawfully gathering information.
Harry and Megan Markle claimed that their latest car chase in New York City was another instance of paparazzi overstepping their bounds when getting stories on the royals.
MGN’s lawyer, Andrew Green, questioned Harry about some of the statements he made and claimed some of the stories were already in the public domain. There were approximately 207 newspaper articles published between 1991 and 2011 – 33 which refer to the Duke of Sussex directly.
The claimants even argue that senior executives like Piers Morgan, who edited the Daily Mirror newspaper from 1995 to 2004, knew of the illegal activities. Morgan has denied any knowledge of illegal activities.
MGN has previously admitted that phone hacking took place at its tabloids, but its lawyer denies that 28 of the 33 articles involving Harry used unlawfully gathered information.
According to the BBC, the group had “not admitted” that the other five articles involved unlawful information gathering. Harry has been instructed not to speak with anyone as the ongoing case presumes in court.