Private investigator apologises for ‘robbing Harry of teenage years’

‘As explained to me by a couple of editors, Harry had basically become the new Diana’

Peony Hirwani
Tuesday 23 November 2021 05:25
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Private investigator Gavin Burrows has apologised for “robbing Prince Harry of his teenage years” by monitoring the phone of one of his former girlfriends.

In an interview with the BBC for its new documentary The Princes and the Press that aired on Monday, the investigator admitted that Chelsy Davy’s phone was being monitored in 2004, as part of the “ruthless” culture of the media at the time.

Mr Burrows, a witness in ongoing legal cases against the now-defunct News of the World and The Sun, claimed his actions were the result of a greater interest in the Duke of Sussex’s life than his brother Prince William, at the time.

The investigator alleged that News of the World editors told him that the newspaper sold more copies when Harry was on the front page than William.

“As explained to me by a couple of editors, Harry had basically become the new Diana,” Mr Burrows said.

“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,” Mr Burrows further said.

Private investigator Gavin Burrows says he ‘robbed’ Harry of ‘his normal teenage years’

All of the investigator’s claims are yet to be tested in court and are strongly disputed.

Mr Burrows also claimed that the investigators were interested in Ms Davy’s ex-boyfriends, what kind of education she had received and her medical records.

The investigator then went on to say he was “very sorry,” adding that he had began “living in a fake state of grandeur.”

“I was greedy, I was into my cocaine, and I was living in a fake state of grandeur,” he said.

He called the culture of media absolutely “ruthless” before saying that “they’ve got no morals - they absolutely have got no morals.”

“I was basically part of a group of people who robbed him [Harry] of his normal teenage years,” Mr Burrows admitted.

A phone-hacking scandal was the reason why News of the World shut down in 2011.

The scandal had led to the closure of the tabloid and also the arrest and conviction of the paper’s former editor Andy Coulson.

In 2011, it was revealed that the News of the World had hired a private investigator who hacked the voicemail of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler.

The scandal led to a number of arrests, the resignation of Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson and an extensive public inquiry into press ethics.

News International (now News UK) director Rupert Murdoch was also summoned to give evidence in the public hearing.

Additional reporting by PA

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