Private investigator apologises for targeting Chelsy Davy for surveillance while she was dating Prince Harry in new BBC documentary about warring brothers
- PI Gavin Burrows has apologised for targeting Chelsy Davy for surveillance
- He alleged her phones were monitored after she started dating Prince Harry
- Mr Burrows said Harry was seen as the ‘new Diana’ by media in the early 2000s
- Private investigator said he regretted his treatment of Prince Harry in 2000s
A private investigator has apologised for targeting the Duke of Sussex’s ex-girlfriend Chelsy Davy when they were dating, saying Prince Harry was seen as ‘the new Diana’.
Gavin Burrows, a witness in ongoing legal cases against News of the World and the Sun, alleged that Chelsy Davy’s phones were monitored after she started dating Prince Harry, 37, in 2004.
Mr Burrows said Harry was seen as the ‘new Diana’ in the early 2000s and claimed editors told him that putting Harry on the front page sold more copies of newspapers than his brother Prince William.
Speaking to the BBC in new documentary The Princes and the Press, 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.’
Gavin Burrows, a witness in legal cases against News of the World, alleged Chelsy Davy’s phones were put under surveillance after she started dating Prince Harry (pictured in 2006)
Mr Burrows’ claims have been strongly disputed and are yet to be tested in court.
He alleged that Ms Davy’s communications were targeted, saying investigators were interested in her medical records, details of her education and her ex-boyfriends.
The private investigator, who began working for News of the World in 2000, apologised for his behaviour, which he said was because he was ‘greedy’, and added that he regretted his treatment of Prince Harry.
He added: ‘I was basically part of a group of people who robbed him [Harry] of his normal teenage years.’
Mr Burrows, who was one of many private investigators who worked for UK newspapers during what later became known as the phone-hacking scandal, said there was a ‘ruthless’ culture in some areas of the media at the time.
Solicitor Callum, co-ordinating the ongoing legal actions against News Group Newspapers, said the scale of the use of private investigators by newspapers from the early 1990s until 2011 was ‘phenomenal’.
Mr Burrows (pictured), who began working for News of the World in 2000, apologised for his behaviour and said he regretted his treatment of Prince Harry
Mr Burrows claimed Ms Davy’s (pictured with Harry in 2008) communications were targeted, saying investigators were interested in her medical records and her ex-boyfriends
Harry is taking legal action against News Group Newspapers, publisher of The Sun and the defunct Sunday newspaper News of the World. He is also suing the publisher of the Daily Mirror, Reach Plc.
News of the World shut down in 2011 after allegations that journalists paid private investigators to hack into the phones of families of British military personnel killed in action and the phone of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler.
James Murdoch, the son of Rupert Murdoch, was forced to stand down in the wake of the phone hacking scandal after publicly defending his father’s British newspapers.
In 2011, then-prime minister David Cameron announced the Leveson Inquiry would look into the alleged phone hacking by News of the World.
The inquiry published the Leveson Report in November 2012, which called for an independent body to replace the Press Complaints Commission. The PCC closed down in 2014 and was replaced by the Independent Press Standards Organisation.
News Group Newspapers accepted a limited amount of unlawful activity took place at News of the World but denies any wrongdoing at the Sun, saying it has not accepted liability in the phone hacking cases against it.