1 of 3 | Prince Harry appeared in court Tuesday as he testified in a case alleging that Britain's Mirror Group Newspapers illegally hacked his phone. Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI | License Photo
June 6 (UPI) -- Prince Harry appeared in court to testify in a lawsuit accusing Britain's Mirror Group Newspapers of illegal hacking as he said the tabloids' coverage had a "devastating impact" on his mental health.
Harry became the first royal to give testimony during a court proceeding in Britain since 1891, as he brought the case against the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and People of hacking his voicemails and illegally using private investigators to get information for stories on him.
"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," Prince Harry said.
He added that he was particularly impacted by "hurtful, mean and cruel" stories that speculated his real father was army officer James Hewitt.
Further, Harry, said the tabloid coverage impacted his relationships with his fellow service members during his time in the army.
"I was facing judgments and opinions based on what had been reported about me, true or not. I expected people to be thinking 'he's obviously going to fail this test, because he's a thicko,'" he said.
The royal was exceptionally critical of Piers Morgan, former Daily Mirror editor and frequent critic of Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle, saying the possibility that Morgan listened to his private messages made him "physically sick."
Mirror Group's attorney Andrew Green pushed back, saying the prince could only offer "speculation" on how the newspapers gathered information on him and could not offer any proof to the allegations.
The publisher has continued to deny that it hacked Harry's phone but acknowledged last month some of its past activities in relation to Harry "warrant compensation" as Green said a private investigator hired by The Sunday People was ordered to dig up details surrounding who Harry was with and what he was doing at London's Chinawhite nightclub in 2004.