The lawyers of Prince Harry claimed that certain journalists planned to exploit his father, Prince Charles, by telling him that his son was taking cocaine in exchange for an exclusive of Harry's "drug use."
The accusation is part of Harry's privacy lawsuit against News Group Newspapers, whose reporters had previously admitted to hacking the phone of the Duke of Sussex. The publisher's now-defunct tabloid, News of the World, ran a story in the early 2000s about Harry's drug rehabilitation.
Apparently, the journalists involved - Clive Goodman, Rebekah Brooks (née Wade) Andy Coulson - had planned on "blagging" Charles by telling him that his second son was a drug user and heavy drinker. Harry's lawyers presented several emails between those involved in court to support their claims that the tabloid and its publisher wanted to dishonestly convince the Prince of Wales so they could get their exclusive.
News Group Newspaper's lawyers, however, said that the emails did not exactly detail how the journalists were going to exploit Charles nor did they make any reference to such plans. The defendants also said that Harry's lawsuit has been "too late" since the incidents happened nearly 20 years ago.
Goodman has also admitted that he had someone hack into Harry and Prince William's phones for a story. He was arrested and sent to prison for four months in 2007 for this illegal act. The lawsuit into the phone-hacking scandal dragged on for years. Harry's lawyers, however, are making a separate claim over the privacy breach.
Meanwhile, Harry did have a reputation for partying and drug use in his younger years. Royal correspondent Katie Nicholls recalled, in the documentary Prince Harry: The Troubled Prince, that while William was being primed to take the throne, Harry, then a teenager, was often at nightclubs drinking, smoking and partying. Broadcaster Daisy McAndrew said those years were Harry's privileged but unhappy life, where he hung around with people who didn't really have his best interest.
The royal experts said that Charles brought his son to the Featherstone Lodge, a drug rehabilitation facility, during one of his royal engagements. The Prince of Wales had hoped it would be a warning and an eye-opening experience.
But Harry's scandalous partying ways continued right before he entered military service. The Duke of Sussex made public apologies more than once for his "stupid decisions," according to the experts who also said that this was usually the reality of royals born as the spare to the heir to the throne. William had a definite role and destiny while Harry didn't know what his future would be, coming in second to the future king.