Prince Harry ripped the tabloid press, saying it’s hit “rock bottom,” as he became the first senior member of the British royal family to take to the witness stand in more than 130 years.
The 38-year-old son of King Charles III appeared in a London courtroom on Tuesday as part of his lawsuit against Mirror Group Newspapers. Harry has accused the British newspaper publisher of hacking his phone and utilizing other illegal means in its coverage of him over the years.
Mirror Group Newspapers has denied the allegations, citing in court previous reporting and palace official statements as some of the sourcing for its coverage.
In a witness statement, Harry said, “In my view, in order to save journalism as a profession, journalists need to expose those people in the media that have stolen or highjacked the privileges and powers of the press, and have used illegal or unlawful means for their own gain and agendas.”
“On a national level as, at the moment, our country is judged globally by the state of our press and our government — both of which I believe are at rock bottom,” Harry, who blasted coverage of him for causing personal paranoia and “distrust,” said in his statement.
“The fact that it was not just the journalists who were carrying out the unlawful activity , but also those in power who were turning a blind eye to it so as to ensure that it would continue unabated, and who then tried to cover it up when the game was up is appalling,” he said.
“Trolls react and mobilize to stories they create,” Harry said in his statement.
“How much more blood will stain their typing fingers before someone can put a stop to this madness?” he asked.
Harry and his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, announced in 2020 that they were stepping down as full-time working members of the royal family and moved to California.
The cross-examination of the father of two in the phone hacking trial is expected to continue on Wednesday.
It’s not the only legal battle that has Harry in the headlines this week. A Tuesday afternoon hearing is scheduled in a D.C. federal court as part of a lawsuit brought by the conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation against the Department of Homeland Security. The Heritage Foundation says Harry’s immigration records should be unsealed following the release of his memoir, “Spare,” in January, in which the royal family member detailed past drug use.
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