Tue, 9 May 2023 at 4:37 am BST
The ghostwriter behind Prince Harry’s book has revealed he shouted at the royal in a row over an anecdote that referenced Princess Diana.
John Moehringer recalled the pair having a 2am Zoom call over some of Harry’s edits for Spare, with one story sparking a heated disagreement.
He said it involved a hostage scenario during the prince’s military training when one of the “captors” made a “vile dig” at his mother.
Moehringer said Harry wanted his comeback to the remark to be included, but that he disagreed as it was “somewhat inane” and would “dilute” the story.
In an article for The New Yorker, the writer said he was “exasperated” with Harry’s insistence to leave it in.
“My head was pounding, my jaw was clenched, and I was starting to raise my voice,” he recalled.
“And yet some part of me was still able to step outside the situation and think, ‘this is so weird. I’m shouting at Prince Harry’.
“Then, as Harry started going back at me, as his cheeks flushed and his eyes narrowed…”
He said the prince explained he wanted it left in to show he still “had his wits about him” in such a stressful situation as all his life “people had belittled his intellectual capabilities”.
But the back and forth is said to have ended with Harry backing down and the pair laughing it off – the prince quipping: “I really enjoy getting you worked up like that.”
Spare, released in January, dominated headlines for days.
Its revelations included Harry admitting to using cocaine, details about losing his virginity, claims he and his brother asked the King not to marry Camilla, and allegations Prince William grabbed him and knocked him over during a row.
Moehringer – a Pulitzer Prize-winning author who’s also ghostwritten for Andre Agassi and Nike’s founder – said he was “stalked” by the media after the book received a “frenzied” response.
He said on one occasion a photographer followed him and jumped into the road when he was driving with his son, with a UK reporter turning up at his window just an hour later.
But the race to translate the juiciest details from a leaked Spanish language copy led to many misleading errors, according to Moehringer, who said facts were also “wrenched out of context”.
The media storm helped Spare sell huge numbers and Harry was apparently delighted – with “tears in his eyes” at a friend’s party for the book.
“His smile was wide as he embraced us both,” said Moehringer in his article.
“He was overjoyed by many things. The numbers, naturally. Guinness World Records had just certified his memoir as the fastest-selling nonfiction book in the history of the world…
“He mentioned my advice, to ‘trust the book’, and said he was glad that he did, because it felt incredible to have the truth out there…”