Prince Harry memoir Spare ‘not proof he took drugs’, US court case told

Federal lawyers for the United States have defended the country’s decision to grant Prince Harry’s visa, despite his memoir’s claims he took drugs.

The Duke of Sussex wrote about taking cocaine, weed and magic mushrooms in his bombshell memoir Spare, The Sun reports.

But lawyers have now claimed the book “is not proof”.

Conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation sued the US Department for Homeland Security (DHS) in the row over Harry’s visa.

In a case heard before a court in Washington DC on Friday, the Foundation argued the Duke’s past drug use should have disqualified him from entering America under federal law.

A court filing also accused the father-of-two of “bragging” about using drugs, and called for his immigration records to be shared as a matter of “immense public interest”.

But John Bardo, a lawyer for the Biden administration, told the court that “the book isn’t sworn testimony or proof”.

“Saying something in a book doesn’t necessarily make it true,” Mr Bardo said.

“Prince Harry is one foreign national out of many who enter the US legally.”

Samuel Dewey, a lawyer for The Heritage Foundation, argued that “Spare is a valid admission, the Duke has confirmed its accuracy”.

Holding up a copy of the memoir, he said that the government was “providing special treatment to celebrities” to enter the US.

“Prince Harry admitted to daily drug use after being let into the US,” he said.

“The Duke’s admissions make him inadmissable.”

Mr Dewey added that the case also raised “profound questions about DHS conduct”.

He also claimed a diplomatic visa doesn’t allow an individual to work in the US, while Harry is working in the country.

“The Royal Family withdrew Prince Harry’s security. How could he still be on a diplomatic visa?” Mr Dewey said.

The DHS previously said the release of immigration documents would be an “unwarranted invasion of Harry’s privacy”.

‘Marijuana helped me’

The Duke wrote in Spare that cocaine “didn’t do anything for me” when he took “a line” aged 17.

“Marijuana is different, that actually really did help me,” the 39-year-old wrote.

After taking magic mushrooms, Harry said he started hallucinating and thought a bin in a bathroom was staring at him before growing a head.

The Heritage Foundation’s director Nile Gardiner has now said it is “preposterous” the Duke’s visa application should be kept private given how vocal he’s been about his drug use.

“No one should be above the law when it comes to applying for immigration status in the United States,” he said, speaking before the hearing.

“This really matters to Americans. This case raises many issues as to whether or not people are given any special treatment in coming to the United States and whether or not the rule of law is applied equally.

“The American people expect their leader to enforce immigration law strictly and this should apply to anyone entering the US, including royals like Prince Harry.”

Applicants for a visa to live and work in the US have to answer “yes” or “no” to the question: “Are you or have you ever been a drug abuser or addict?”

The DHS said it cannot confirm whether Harry made any application alongside his visa relating to exemptions of drug use.

“The mere acknowledgment of these records would constitute an unwarranted invasion of Prince Harry’s privacy,” it said.

“The records are particularly sensitive because releasing them, even in part, would reveal Prince Harry’s status in the United States, which Prince Harry has not disclosed.”

The court filing by The Heritage Foundation read: “[The case] comes about in the main because HRH (His Royal Highness) voluntarily – and for immense profit – admitted in writing to the elements of any number of controlled substance violations.”

“Indeed, some say HRH has approached the point of bragging and encouraging illegal drug use,” it continued.

“The Duke of Sussex did so despite the fact that it is widely known that such admissions can have adverse immigration consequences for non-citizens and despite employing pre-eminent legal advisers on both sides of the Atlantic.”

Did Prince Harry lie?

District Judge Carl J Nichols asked if the DHS had a duty to investigate whether Harry lied on his visa application.

Laying out the “three options” which would have allowed Harry to enter the US, the judge said: “If Harry answered ‘yes’ to the question on his visa application of whether he took drugs in March 2020, he wouldn’t have been permitted entry to the US, unless he had a diplomatic visa, or he sought a waiver.”

“The waiver option is for someone otherwise deemed inadmissable to the US,” he continued.

“There is no other way he could have entered the United States.

“If he answered ‘yes’ on the visa form to past drug use, a consular officer would have to seek admission to the country.”

Judge Nichols said that it was “not plausible” that Harry would have been granted a diplomatic visa following Megxit.

“It seems preposterous that [Harry] would be on a diplomatic visa given relations with the royals,” he said.

Addressing the government’s lawyer, he said: “Does the public have an interest in knowing what routes the government took?”

The Heritage Foundation believes Harry may have ticked the “yes” box and been granted a waiver.

If so, it is seeking to find out who would have granted the waiver.

At one point the Judge said he was “uncomfortable” referring to the royal as Prince Harry, adding: “it would be like calling me Judge Carl.”

He referred to him instead as The Duke Of Sussex for the rest of the hour-long session at the US District Court for the District of Columbia.

Judge Nichols will hand down a written ruling in the coming weeks.

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission

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