Prince Harry appeared to choke back tears after hours of gruelling questioning on the second day of his phone hacking trial.
The Duke of Sussex, 38, said “it’s a lot” after he was interrogated for seven hours on the stand on Wednesday at London’s High Court about his claim against Mirror Group Newspapers, a day after the royal argued he was portrayed in the press as the “playboy prince” and a “thicko” during his younger years.
Harry seemed to break down after he was asked by his barrister David Sherborne how he had found the experience of giving evidence in the witness box – with the royal pausing before he replied: “It’s a lot” and reportedly fought tears.
Wednesday saw him quizzed over a series of articles, including one on his trip to the strip club Spearmint Rhino, which featured in a story in 2006.
The duke was again accused of being in the “realm of total speculation” after he was hit with the same accusation on Tuesday by the Mirror Group’s lawyer Andrew Green KC.
The story about Harry’s visit to the Spearmint Rhino had told how Harry was scolded by his former girlfriend Chelsy Davy for reportedly enjoying a dance with a “statuesque blonde” who was said to have sat on his lap.
Mr Green asked Harry if he had “any evidence or was it pure speculation” the story came from phone hacking, and the royal was questioned over his accusations the Mirror group listened to voicemails to gain insight into arguments with Chelsy, now 37.
Harry also told during fiery exchanges on the stand what he felt was in the public interest.
Mr Green then told him: “Could I just repeat what I said yesterday – this is about me asking you questions, not you asking me questions.”
Harry is suing the Mirror Group for damages over claims journalists at its publications used hacking as well as “blagging” – falsely posing as others – and other illegal means of deception in the process of getting stories on his life, which the company denies.
He is alleging around 140 articles published between 1996 and 2010 by MGN publications contained information gathered using unlawful methods, with 33 of those chosen to be considered at the trial.
Harry’s claim is being heard alongside three other “representative” claims in a trial which began last month and is due to last six to seven weeks.
The trio of other claimants are ‘Coronation Street’ actor Michael Turner, known by his acting name Michael Le Vell, 58, along with former ‘Coronation Street’ actress Nikki Sanderson, 39, and ‘The Fast Show’ comedian Paul Whitehouse’s ex-wife Fiona Wightman.
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