Thought of 'vile' Piers Morgan earwigging my mother's phone calls makes me physically sick, says Harry

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 06: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex arrives to give evidence at the Mirror Group phone hacking trial at the Rolls Building of the High Court on June 6, 2023 in London, England. Prince Harry is one of several claimants in a lawsuit against Mirror Group Newspapers related to allegations of unlawful information gathering in previous decades. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
Prince Harry arrives to give evidence at the Mirror Group Newspapers phone hacking trial at the High Court on Tuesday. (Getty Images)

Prince Harry has accused Piers Morgan of "earwigging" into his mother's private messages.

The Duke of Sussex claimed the broadcaster and former Daily Mirror editor listened to Princess Diana's voicemails, making him feel "physically sick".

Harry began giving evidence at the High Court on Tuesday in his phone hacking case against Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN).

Prince Harry - live: Follow all the latest court updates here

He is suing the group for damages, claiming journalists at its titles, which also include the 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.

Watch: Prince Harry arrives at High Court to give evidence in phone hacking case

In his witness statement, made public as he began giving evidence, Harry singled out Morgan.

He wrote: "The thought of Piers Morgan and his band of journalists earwigging into my mother’s private and sensitive messages (in the same way as they have me) and then having given her a “nightmare time” three months prior to her death in Paris, makes me feel physically sick and even more determined to hold those responsible, including Mr Morgan, accountable for their vile and entirely unjustified behaviour."

Harry accused the Daily Mirror of intercepting voicemails between Diana and former TV entertainer Michael Barrymore.

Morgan has always denied any knowledge of knowingly commissioning or publishing stories while he was editor of the Daily Mirror based on voicemails that were obtained illegally.

Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of the Duke of Sussex (left) with his counsel David Sherborne (right) giving evidence at the Rolls Buildings in central London, with Mr Justice Fancourt (centre) looking on, during the phone hacking trial against Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN). A number of high-profile figures have brought claims against MGN over alleged unlawful information gathering at its titles. Picture date: Tuesday June 6, 2023.
A court artist's sketch of Prince Harry, left, with his counsel David Sherborne, right, giving evidence on Tuesday with Mr Justice Fancourt, centre, looking on. (Getty Images)

In an interview with the BBC last month, Morgan said: "I've never hacked a phone. I've never told anybody to hack a phone."

Last month, Morgan told ITV News: "I’m not going to take lectures on privacy invasion from Prince Harry."

Harry also said he was "shocked and appalled" by the number of payments made by MGN titles to private investigators.

“I now realise that my acute paranoia of being constantly under surveillance was not misplaced after all," he said in his witness statement.

“There are even eight private investigator payments made in relation to my mother, which I have only learnt of since bringing my claim.

“This makes me feel physically sick.”

London, UK. 22nd May, 2023. London, UK. Piers Morgan. Celebrities were a common sight at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2023 Press Day held in the grounds of The Royal Hospital, Chelsea. Credit: michael melia/Alamy Live News
Piers Morgan has always denied knowing about phone hacking while editor of the Daily Mirror. (Alamy)

On Monday, the High Court heard that letters between Diana and Barrymore about their “highly sensitive meetings” show that her phone was hacked by the Daily Mirror.

David Sherborne, Harry’s barrister, read out two letters from Diana to Barrymore, which referred to meetings between the pair, and in one of them Diana referred to being “devastated” to learn the “Daily Mirror” had called her office about him and their meetings.

In the letter, Diana said she had not told anyone about the meetings, the court heard.

Mr Sherborne said: “We say it is plainly that the Daily Mirror has been listening to the voicemail messages and that is how they knew of the secret and highly sensitive meetings between Princess Diana and poor Mr Barrymore.”

Mr Sherborne said Morgan referred to hearing rumours about the meetings between Diana and Barrymore in his book The Insider.

The barrister said the reason Morgan had heard was because Mirror journalists would have heard “private messages”.

Watch: Piers Morgan says he 'will not take lectures' from Prince Harry