Sussexes’ Biographer Claims He’s Being Targeted After Phone Hacking Testimony
Omid Scobie, the journalist whose sympathetic biography of Harry and Meghan, Finding Freedom, catalogued the breakdown of the relationship between the Sussexes and the Windsors, has said that it is not a coincidence that his friends and family are being “bothered” and that “fake gossip to incite hate” is being “invented” just days after testifying that he saw evidence of phone hacking when working at the U.K.-based tabloid The Mirror.
Scobie said in High Court this week, where he was giving evidence to support Prince Harry’s claim that the paper published articles based on illegally obtained information, that then-editor Piers Morgan, who has since become one of the Sussexes most vituperative critics, knew about illegal phone hacking.
Apparently reacting in part to a story in The Times which profiled the writer—and implied he was a hypocrite because he once worked at celebrity-focused British tabloid magazine Heat—Scobie took to Twitter Monday with a series of posts.
The continued fascination some people have with my first job is bizarre. I worked at Heat magazine for 11 months after university (20 years ago!) and I quickly grew to hate it. My immediate boss there—now a columnist at a newspaper—would call me Paki as a "joke", repeatedly used…
— Omid Scobie (@scobie) May 22, 2023
Bothering my friends, family, a lifetime of colleagues, inventing fake gossip to incite hate... all within days of me giving evidence in a media case? Not a coincidence. Been down this road many times now, I know exactly who is up to what, and I'm not going anywhere.
— Omid Scobie (@scobie) May 21, 2023
The Times is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Group Newspapers, which Harry is also suing for phone hacking.
The article published this weekend quoted a former colleague of Scobie’s as saying: “He was good fun, we used to go to events together and there was definitely no moral issue with any of the press. We were working at Heat when they were doing stories about cellulite and fat [based on long-lens photos].” Another said: “Omid was working hand-in-glove with paps [paparazzi] for years.”
In court last week, Scobie also rejected the suggestion that he was a “cheerleader” or “mouthpiece” for Harry and Meghan.
He said he didn’t have “a close relationship” with them and added: “It’s got to the point that when I get press releases from Harry and Meghan’s people, I wait for other people to post it first so I don’t have to deal with the Daily Mail articles saying that it came from me.”
Scobie does seem to break a significant amount of pro-Sussex news. After the alleged chase of the Sussexes by paparazzi in New York, last week, for example, he told BBC’s Newsnight that the Sussex car was forced to drive at up to 80 m.p.h., a claim disputed by other parties.
He also tweeted that the group “were involved in a terrifying paparazzi car chase involving six blacked out vehicles in a chase that could have been fatal.”
However, taxi driver Sukhcharn “Sunny” Singh told the Washington Post: “I don’t think I would call it a chase,” he said. “I never felt like I was in danger. It wasn’t like a car chase in a movie. They were quiet and seemed scared but it’s New York—it’s safe.”
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