Prince Harry tells hacking trial he ‘knows of’ Omid Scobie – who wrote his unofficial biography – as the Duke is questioned about sources for royal stories
- Duke of Sussex is suing Mirror Group Newspapers for damages at High Court
- Harry was asked about Finding Freedom writer Omid Scobie in court today
Prince Harry today told his High Court hacking case that he ‘knows of’ journalist Omid Scobie, who wrote his unofficial biography and has been posting photographs of a trip to California where the Duke and his family live.
The Duke of Sussex is suing Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) for damages, claiming journalists at its titles – which include the Daily and Sunday Mirror and Sunday People – were linked to methods including phone hacking, so-called ‘blagging’ or gaining information by deception, and use of private investigators for unlawful activities.
On the second day of Harry’s evidence – making him the first senior royal in more than two decades to appear personally in court – he was asked about Mr Scobie.
Mr Scobie co-authored the 2020 book Finding Freedom about Harry and his wife Meghan Markle, and is thought to be close to the Sussexes. However it is not known if he has visited the couple, who live in an £12million Montecito mansion in the state.
At the High Court today, Mr Scobie – who is Bazaar.com’s royal editor-at-large – was mentioned by MGN’s barrister Andrew Green KC in his cross-examination of Harry.
The Duke of Sussex arrives at the High Court in London today to continue giving evidence
Omid Scobie posted this picture on his Instagram account two days ago of him in California
Mr Green quoted how Mr Scobie has previously spoken about the importance of sources in royal reporting.
READ MORE ‘I wish Prince Harry luck with his privacy campaign, I look forward to reading it in his next book’: Piers Morgan takes a swipe at the Duke and warns he ‘won’t be silent’ after phone hacking trial
The barrister then asked Harry: ‘Do you know Mr Omid Scobie?’
And the Duke replied: ‘Yes.’
Harry then added: ‘I know of him.’
While Mr Green did not give the source of Mr Scobie’s comments, an article in the i newspaper in August 2020 quoted him as saying: ‘Royal and celebrity news thrives on the anonymity of sources.’
Mr Scobie and Finding Freedom co-author Carolyn Durand spoke to more than 100 sources including ‘close friends of Harry and Meghan, royal aides and palace staff (past and present)’ for their book, according to a note in it.
Mr Scobie is thought to have been away in California and posted photographs of a trip there on his Instagram account ‘scobiesnaps’ two days ago, with the caption: ‘Cali pick n mix’.
These included a picture of the world-famous restaurant Nobu and an image of a dessert on a table at Polo Lounge, which is at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
Mr Scobie was not mentioned in Harry’s witness statement, and it is not known whether he is still in California.
The journalist previously claimed on May 15 that he was shown how to hack voicemails while on work experience at MGN title The Sunday People.
Mr Scobie also previously said that while on work experience at its sister paper the Daily Mirror he overheard the then-editor Piers Morgan being told that information for a story about pop star Kylie Minogue had come from voicemail.
A court artist’s of Prince Harry (right) being cross examined by Andrew Green KC (left) today
Mr Scobie is seen outside the High Court on May 15 where he gave evidence in the MGN case
Mr Scobie also insisted that he is not the Sussexes’ ‘friend, mouthpiece, cheerleader’ as he gave evidence at the High Court for Harry.
Mr Morgan, editor of the tabloid between 1995 and 2004, has denied any involvement in phone hacking.
A profile in the Sunday Times last month claimed Mr Scobie first met Meghan in 2015 at Toronto Fashion Week, before she started dating Harry.
It also said he claimed to have given Meghan ‘a big farewell hug’ beneath the ‘malachite candelabras’ of the 1844 Room in Buckingham Palace after her final engagement as a working royal.
Source: Read Full Article