London — Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, appeared in a London court for a second consecutive day Wednesday to testify in his lawsuit against Britain's Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN). The 38-year-old second son of Britain's King Charles III is suing theover alleged unlawful information gathering, including alleged voicemail hacking.
The case is civil not criminal, meaning that the standard of proof is different. Harry is seeking to convince the judge that, on the balance of probabilities, his claims are true. In the most serious criminal cases, a judge or jury must be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt. That means Harry and his legal teams must show his claims are more likely true than untrue.
Prince Harry faced questions from the lawyer representing Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN), Andrew Green. Green questioned Harry Wednesday about his 49-page witness statement, published Tuesday, that outlines times he believes MGN tabloids allegedly used unlawful tactics to gather information about him.
MGN denies unlawful activity in the case.
On Tuesday,he was determined to use the case to stop the "madness" of news organizations using alleged illegal activities to obtain personal information to sell papers.
"I genuinely feel that in every relationship that I've ever had — be that with friends, girlfriends, with family or with the army, there's always been a third party involved, namely the tabloid press," Harry said in a lengthy written witness statement released Tuesday as he appeared for his first day of cross-examination.
Harry blasted the "utterly vile" actions of Britain's tabloid press, accusing them of being "the mothership of online trolling."
Here are key moments from Prince Harry's testimony.
MGN lawyer questions Harry about article called "Harry Carry"
MGN's lawyer Andrew Green asked Prince Harry about his allegations around an article called "Harry Carry," published in 2005, which his witness statement said was a two-page spread about Harry being let off daily marches at the military academy, Sandhurst, due to a knee injury.
The article included quotes from supposed "insiders" and information about Harry using a computer to email his then-girlfriend, Chelsy Davy, according to Harry's witness statement.
"I was not going around freely discussing any medical issues or injuries that I had. I was almost conditioned to feel guarded at this point in my life, worrying I couldn't trust anyone for fear that it would end up splashed across the tabloids," Harry said in his witness statement.
"I can't remember the specifics of how often I was speaking to Chelsy over email at this time, I wasn't sharing this information with my colleagues - who I'd only just met- least of all because that kind of thing would have made me seem soft, but also because me and Chelsy were so protective of our relationship and wanted people to know as little as possible for fear of 'leaks,'" Harry's witness statement said.
Harry said that he was shown evidence of payments to a private investigator from the period, and details of a phone call to a number used by a press secretary to then-Prince Charles, CBS partner network BBC News reported.
"I believe that the information in this article came from unlawful information gathering," Harry said.
MGN lawyer asks if Harry would be "disappointed" if found not to have been hacked
"If the court were to find that you were never hacked by any MGN journalist, would you be relieved or would you be disappointed?" MGN lawyer Andrew Green asked Prince Harry.
"Well that would be speculating, and I'm not really sure if I would be relieved or disappointed," Harry said, adding that he believes phone hacking was taking place at the time at an "industrial scale across at least three papers" and therefore he would "feel some injustice.. if it wasn't accepted."
"Nobody wants to have been phone hacked," Harry said.
Harry links story about night out to phone hacking
An article published in 2006, called "Chel Shocked," said Prince Harry's then-girlfriend Chelsy Davy got angry about an evening Harry spent at a strip club and called him a number of times to express her anger.
"The detail about the timing and length of the calls is so specific," Harry said in his witness statement, adding that he didn't believe Chelsy got angry with him.
He alleges that two payments to private investigators, in MGN's records, are linked to the story.
"Given the private details in the article, and the very specific details about my phone activity, I find these payments particularly suspicious," Harry said in his witness statement. "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."
Article about relationship "very suspicious," Harry says
One article that was discussed was published in 2007, about strain in the relationship between Prince Harry and Chelsy Davy.
"I really cannot understand how the Defendant's journalists obtained such specific details for this article... I find it very suspicious," Harry said in his witness statement.
"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," Harry said.
MGN lawyer brings up prior reporting
MGN's lawyer Andrew Green asked Prince Harry about a 2008 article in the Mirror tabloid called "Harry fear as mobile is swiped," which is mentioned in Harry's claim.
He says the fact that Harry's phone was stolen was first reported by the AFP news agency at 10:58am, the day before the Mirror article came out, and was then picked up by other news sources. AFP cited sources with the Lesotho defense force, Green said.
"I remember this incident so clearly, I was pickpocketed. I suspected I was targeted, nothing about it felt opportunistic. It felt so smooth, so calculated and so clever," Harry said in his written statement released Tuesday. "My first worry when I realised it was gone that very private and personal text messages were going to be splashed across the newspapers. I knew it was likely the British press, including the Defendant, would know where I was, as they always did. I could never relax."
"I very much remember seeing this article."
MGN lawyer Andrew Green went quickly through the remaining articles referenced in Prince Harry's witness statement and then asked him questions regarding the 33rd and final article, which was published in 2009 in The People tabloid, called "Chelsy's 'New Fella.'"
"I very much remember seeing this article when it came up," Harry told the court.
The article said that Harry had been "bombarding" Davy to try to get her back after the two had broken up, and his statement said it included a quote from a reported "close friend" of Davy's.
"The reports of the calls between us feel very suspicious to me. Again, this is not the kind of information that is flattering to me," Harry said in his written witness statement. "I would not have told anyone if I was calling Chelsy regularly and given the way Chelsy has also been guarded with who she tells information to, I have no idea who the 'close pal' could be that the Defendant's journalists are attributing some of the information to."
MGN's lawyer finishes questioning Prince Harry
MGN's lawyer Andrew Green finished going through the articles referenced in Prince Harry's witness statement and asked some final questions about Harry's claims.
"You advance a claim that your phone was hacked for a 15-year period between 1996 and 2010, don't you?" Green asked.
"Yes," Harry said.
"Are you claiming damages on the basis that your phone was being hacked on a daily basis throughout that 15 year period?" Green asked.
"It could be happening on a daily basis. I simply don't know," Harry replied.
"Are you aware of any evidence that gives any indication whatsoever as to the extent to which you were hacked, if at all, throughout this 15 year period?" Green asked, before finishing his cross-examination.
"No. That's part of the reason why I'm here," Harry said.
Harry appears to get emotional at end of testimony
Prince Harry was asked by his lawyer about how going through all the articles mentioned in his claim has made him feel, "knowing this is a very public courtroom and the world media are watching?"
After a pause, his voice breaking, Harry replied: "It's a lot."
The judge then asked Harry a few more questions before he left the courtroom.