Private Investigator Apologizes for 'Robbing' Prince Harry of His 'Normal Teenage Years'

Gavin Burrows admitted to targeting Harry's former girlfriend Chelsy Davy, hacking her phone and going through her medical records

Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex
Prince Harry. Photo: Chris Jackson - Pool/Getty

A private investigator said he was part of a "ruthless" media culture that "robbed" Prince Harry of a normal life.

Gavin Burrows apologized for his previous behavior in BBC's The Princes and the Press, a documentary exploring Prince Harry and Prince William's relationships with the media.

"I was basically part of a group of people who robbed him of his normal teenage years," Burrows admitted about Prince Harry, now 37, adding that the media culture in the early 2000s "ruthless."

The private investigator said editors described Harry as "the new Diana," referring to his mother Princess Diana who died in a 1997 car crash. In trying to uncover 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.

<a href="" data-inlink="true">Prince Harry</a> & Chelsy Davy
Chelsy Davy and Prince Harry. Indigo/Getty Images

In addition to finding out about her ex-boyfriends, Burrows also confessed to digging into Davy's medical records, including whether she had sexually transmitted diseases or abortions.

Burrows apologized, saying he was "very sorry" and that he acted this way "because I was greedy, I was into my cocaine, and I was living in a fake state of grandeur."

Roya Nikkhah of The Sunday Times appeared in the documentary, sharing that the attention on Prince Harry's girlfriends was too much for them to handle.

"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 day 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."

<a href="" data-inlink="true">Prince Harry</a>, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex speak onstage during Global Citizen Live, New York on September 25, 2021 in New York City.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. John Lamparski/Getty

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After news broke in 2016 of Prince Harry's relationship with Meghan Markle, he confirmed the news with a groundbreaking statement condemning the "wave of abuse and harassment" towards Meghan.

The couple married in May 2018 (with both Davy and Bonas in attendance), and they now have two children. They relocated to California last year after stepping down as senior members of the royal family.

Harry recently spoke out against misinformation on the Internet, opening up about his own experience.

"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 Princes and the Press airs on November 29.

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