Prince Harry Thought Ex-Girlfriend Would Be 'Harassed to Death'

Prince Harry has said he was “scared” that the tabloid media’s relentless pursuit of his ex-girlfriend, Chelsy Davy, could see her be “chased and harassed to death,” in a damning parallel to his late mother.

The prince made his concerns known in a witness statement provided as part of his lawsuit alongside a number of high-profile figures against publishers of the British tabloid Daily Mail over alleged unlawful information gathering.

Harry attended court on Tuesday to watch the second day of hearings associated with the lawsuit, concerned with allegations of bugging, phone-hacking, and wiretapping against Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL).

Prince Harry photographed at the Royal Courts of Justice, March 28, 2023. And (inset) with ex-girlfriend, Chelsy Davy, July 30, 2006. Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

The prince is joined in bringing the lawsuit by celebrities Elton John and Elizabeth Hurley, as well as a number of high-profile British figures including Baroness Doreen Lawrence, the mother of a murdered Black teenager, Stephen Lawrence.

In legal filings, seen by Newsweek, the prince recounted how, during his on-off relationship with Davy, which spanned from 2004 to 2011, the media’s intrusion into her private life was “terrifying” and left her “shaken.”

“This intrusion was terrifying for Chelsy,” he said in the statement, adding, “it made her feel like she was being hunted and the press had caught her and it was terrifying for me too because there was nothing I could do to stop it and now she was in my world.”

“She was ‘shaken’ and I was really paranoid about trying to protect our privacy, as the article says. Their behavior and treatment of Chelsy [were] not normal. I was scared that Chelsy was going to run in the opposite direction or be chased and harassed to death.”

This stated fear bares no uncertain link with the prince’s mother, Princess Diana, who Harry referenced in his statement, saying that after witnessing her treatment at the hands of the media: “I have always had an uneasy relationship with the press.”

The prince has said he is “committed to pursuing” his claim against ANL, and condemned the publisher’s attempt to have the lawsuit dismissed, stating if the organization “can evade justice without there being a trial of my claims, then what does that say about the industry as a whole and the consequences for our great country.”

A spokesperson for the publisher said on Monday that it “vigorously denies all the claims against it.”

In his legal filing, after conceding that there is a “personal element” to his bringing the claims against ANL, he went on to state that if the tabloids were able to avoid being held accountable for their actions, the U.K. would be “doomed.”

“If the most influential newspaper company can successfully evade justice,” he said, “then in my opinion the whole country is doomed.”

Harry has made a number of allegations against ANL, which include highlighting stories published in the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday which he believes were based on information that was illegally sourced through private detectives engaged by the newspapers.

Legal filings made on behalf of the prince claim that the news organization’s conduct between 2001 and 2013 (and beyond) left him paranoid and isolated as he believed people close to him were feeding information to the media, which was how they were able to publish such intimate details about his life.

Prince Harry photographed with ex-girlfriend, Chelsy Davy, May 5, 2008. The prince referenced his relationship with Davy in his lawsuit against Associated Newspapers Limited. Anwar Hussein/WireImage

The royal has spoken out on a number of occasions against media intrusion into his life, most explicitly in 2019 when he launched his first historic phone-hacking lawsuit against News Group Newspapers and Reach, owners of The Sun, the now defunct News of The World and the Daily Mirror.

At the time, the prince released a joint statement with Meghan Markle, in which he voiced his concerns that he was beginning to see his wife suffer the same media harassment as his mother. He said: “My deepest fear is history repeating itself. I’ve seen what happens when someone I love is commoditized to the point that they are no longer treated or seen as a real person. I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces.”

The legal hearings relating to the lawsuit with ANL are scheduled to close on Thursday with a deferred judgment expected to be passed down at a later date.

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