Prince Harry blames Mirror group for breakup with Zimbabwe-born girlfriend

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By Press Association

LONDON: Prince Harry has blamed the allegedly unlawful information gathering activities carried out at the Mirror group for his break-up with Chelsy Davy, the High Court heard.

The duke is among several high-profile individuals bringing damage claims against Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) titles, which began on Wednesday (10 May) and is expected to last seven weeks.

MGN, publisher of titles including The MirrorSunday Mirror and Sunday People, is contesting the claims —arguing that some have been brought too late.

Harry’s solicitor David Sherbone on Wednesday told the court that illicit press intrusion carried out by journalists at these newspapers, such as the alleged phone hacking, caused “great challenges” in his relationship with Davy.

Zimbabwe-born Davy, who dated the duke on-and-off from 2004 until 2009, ultimately decided that “a royal life was not for her” as a result of this alleged harassment.

In court documents, Sherbone told the high court Harry “became immediately suspicious of anyone named in stories about him” and felt he couldn’t trust anybody.

“It also caused great challenges in his relationship with his ex-girlfriend Chelsy Davy and made him fear for his and her safety,” the solicitor added.

Referencing Harry’s witness statement, which is yet to be made public, Sherborne said that each time the duke was thought to be in a relationship, the person’s family or friends “would be ‘dragged into the chaos’ and find themselves the subject of unlawful activity on the part of MGN”.

Court documents highlighted how journalists booked a hotel in Bazaruto, a small island off the coast of Mozambique, when Harry and Davy “tried to escape there and enjoy some peace and quiet”, according to court documents.

Addressing Harry’s relationship with Davy, Sherborne continued: “They were never on their own, which ‘placed a huge amount of unnecessary stress and strain’ on their relationship.

“Ultimately, MGN’s activities led Ms Davy to make the decision that ‘a royal life was not for her’, which was ‘incredibly upsetting’ for Harry at the time.”

MGN has not admitted any of the charges, but said it “unreservedly apologises” to the duke for one instance of unlawful information gathering and that it accepts that he was entitled to “appropriate compensation”.