UNITED KINGDOM: The ghostwriter of Prince Harry’s memoir has described finding himself at the centre of a media frenzy when the book, Spare, came out in January.
Writing in the New Yorker magazine, JR Moehringer said he and his family were stalked and harassed by press. But he also says the experience made him understand the prince better.
In its first week, Spare became the fastest-selling non-fiction book in the UK since records began in 1998.
In the article, Moehringer describes how a paparazzi photographer tailed him as he drove his son to preschool shortly after the book’s publication, leaving him and his wife feeling “fragile”. Later the same day, he says a newspaper journalist appeared at his window while he was working.
Moehringer says he and Harry worked on the memoir together for over two years. The writer describes long Zoom chats, messaging constantly and visiting Harry and his wife Meghan at their house in Montecito, California, as well as bonding with Harry over the loss of their mothers.
Moehringer is an experienced celebrity ghostwriter who has written memoirs for retired tennis star Andre Agassi and Nike co-founder Phil Knight. The author says he always insists on a clause in his contract giving him the right to remain anonymous but, before Spare’s publication, his name was leaked to the press.
He then found himself “squinting into a gigantic searchlight” of media attention, he says. “Every hour, another piece would drop, each one wrong. My fee was wrong, my bio was wrong, even my name,” he writes.
Moehringer said the experience made him realise he had “understood nothing” about how a life in the spotlight had affected Prince Harry – but said the Duke of Sussex was “all heart” and supported him throughout. Some copies of Spare went on sale in Spain several days before the official publication date. Journalists hurried to translate some of the most striking passages from Spanish back into English, leading to what Moehringer says were “bad translations” that “read like bad Borat”.
The author says a “frenzied mob” then ensued in the media when the book was published in English. He says the bad translations didn’t stop as “innocent passages” were “hyped into outrages”.
Prince Harry gave several TV interviews about his memoir, which included details of conflict with his father, King Charles III, and his brother, Prince William. Neither Kensington Palace not Buckingham Palace has ever commented on the contents of the book.
Last week, Prince Harry flew to the UK to attend King Charles’ Coronation – the first time he was seen publicly with his family since his controversial memoir came out.
He flew back to Los Angeles immediately after the Coronation service ended. ‑‑BBC