Private Investigator Apologizes to Prince Harry for Ruining His Childhood
Private investigator Gavin Burrows openly regretted targeting Harry’s former girlfriend Chelsy Davy, hacking her phone and going through her medical records.
Harry has previously been outspoken about the tormenting media presence in his life and how that defined his childhood. In BBC’s the “Princes and the Press”, the documentary explored Prince William and Harry’s relationship with the media.
“Ruthless Media Culture” Robbed Prince Harry of a Normal Life
In BBC’s the “Princes and the Press”, Gavin Burrows apologized for his previous behavior, which included relentlessly shadowing the Prince and his girlfriends.
“I was basically part of a group of people who robbed him of his normal teenage years,” Burrows admitted about the now 37-year-old Duke of Sussex, adding that media culture in the 2000s was “ruthless” and unrestricted.
The private investigator said editors described Harry as “the new Diana,” referring to his mother who tragically died from a car accident at the age of 36.
In his drive to uncover thrilling stories about Prince Harry, Burrows targeted the royal’s former girlfriend Chelsy Davy, whom the royal dated until 2011 after dating on and off for six years.
“There was a lot of voicemail hacking going on, there was a lot of surveillance work on her phones, on her comms. Chelsy would brag to her friends when she was going to see him,” he said.
Burrows explained that he went deeper than finding out about the names of his girlfriends or where they lived and their backgrounds, he actually found out about Chelsy’s ex-boyfriends, dug out her medical records in order to find out whether she had sexually transmitted diseases or abortions.
Burrows then apologized for his past actions, saying he was “very sorry”. He added that his reason for acting that way was “because I was greedy, I was into my cocaine, and I was living in a fake state of grandeur.”
The BBC’s media editor called the documentary a “definitive story of one of the most dramatic periods of royal history for a generation.”
Roya Nikkhah of The Sunday Times appeared in the documentary, noting that the massive media attention on Prince Harry’s ex-girlfriends was apparently too much for them to handle and they ended up calling things off.
“When you are dating or considering marrying a member of the royal family, the scrutiny you endure is enormous,” the editor said. “Harry’s previous relationships with Chelsy Davy and Cressida Bonas — a part of why neither of those went all the way was because neither of them wanted to endure that level of media scrutiny.”
She added, “At that point, he was in the 30s. A lot of his friends were getting married and having families, and he was very concerned that that might elude him because he might not be able to find someone who could handle that.”
Prince Harry on Media Scrutiny and its Disparaging Effects
In 2016, news broke of Prince Harry’s relationship with then-American actress Meghan Markle. After lots of speculations abounded, Harry confirmed the news when he condemned the media of the “wave of abuse and harassment” targeted towards Meghan.
The couple tied the knot in May 2018, (with both Davy and Bonas in attendance). They have welcomed two children and currently base in Montecito, California after relocating to North America in early 2020.
Following Meghan Markle’s apology to the court for forgetting to mention a crucial information, Harry spoke out against misinformation on the internet, sharing his own experience as well.
“Misinformation is a global humanitarian crisis,” Prince Harry said during Wired magazine’s RE-WIRED panel earlier this month. “I’ve felt it personally over the years, and now I’m watching it happen globally. The scariest part about it is you don’t need to be online to be affected by it. It’s important to recognize that this problem did not originate on social media. I learned from a very early age that the incentives of publishing are not necessarily aligned with the incentives of truth.”
Part two of the BBC’s documentary “Princes and the Press” airs on November 29.
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