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Business News/ News / World/  Prince Harry blames negative press for mental health challenges in historic court case: Key takeaways

In a landmark court appearance, Prince Harry testified against the publisher of the Daily Mirror in London, shedding light on the personal toll of media intrusion. The proceedings provided a rare glimpse into the life of a senior Royal and the hostile relationship between Harry and the press.

The case revolves around 33 articles published between 1996 and 2011, which Prince Harry alleges were based on phone hacking or other illicit methods of obtaining information. These stories are part of a larger pattern of press coverage spanning several decades that he claims has distorted his life and that of his loved ones.

During his testimony, Prince Harry shared his experience of being portrayed negatively in tabloids, stating that he often felt trapped in the roles assigned to him, such as the "thicko", the "cheat" or the "irresponsible drug taker". 

Also Read: Prince Harry becomes first prince in 130 years to appear in court, to face cross-examination

He explained that the constant scrutiny and negative narratives pushed him towards engaging in behaviours that aligned with the tabloids' expectations, contributing to a downward spiral of mental health challenges.

The impact of media intrusion extended beyond Prince Harry's personal life to his relationships. He cited the detrimental effect of media scrutiny on his first serious girlfriend, Chelsy Davy, and expressed that newspapers seemed intent on sabotaging his relationships using any means available to them.

Prince Harry's connection to the case is deeply intertwined with painful memories of his mother, Princess Diana, who tragically died in a car crash while being pursued by paparazzi in 1997. His distress was evident as he learned of potential phone hacking of Diana's private conversations and payments made by the Daily Mirror to private investigators for information related to her.

Also Read: Prince Harry testifies against ‘vile’ press, fails to recall 33 articles he complained about

While Prince Harry's testimony evoked strong emotions, the defence questioned the accuracy of his memory, challenging his recollection of specific articles and suggesting alternative means through which information about him may have reached the media.

Beyond the court proceedings, Prince Harry used his witness statement as a call to reform the British media. He advocated for press regulation and criticised the lack of accountability among certain journalists, emphasising the need for those who hold public figures accountable to be held responsible themselves.

Sounak Mukhopadhyay
Sounak Mukhopadhyay, who also goes by the name Sounak Mukherjee, has been producing digital news since 2012. He's worked for the International Business Times, The Inquisitr, and Moneycontrol in the past. He's also contributed to Free Press Journal and TheRichest with feature articles. He covers news for a wide range of subjects including business, finance, economy, politics and social media. Before working with digital news publications, he worked as a freelance content writer.
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Updated: 07 Jun 2023, 09:54 AM IST
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