- Piers Morgan (b. March 30, 1965) is a controversial British broadcaster and journalist.
- In addition to his television shows, Piers worked at The Sun, News of the World, and the Daily Mirror.
- Piers is a noted on-air critic of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Harry says Piers Morgan makes him ‘sick.’
Prince Harry took the stand on Tuesday (June 6) for the phone hacking trial he and other British celebrities brought against Mirror Group Newspapers, where controversial political commentator Piers Morgan worked (as editor of The Daily Mirror) for nearly a decade. Harry, 38, invoked his late mother, Princess Diana, with his testimony. “The thought of Piers Morgan and his band of journalists earwigging into my mother’s private and sensitive messages (in the same way as they have me) and then having given her a ‘nightmare time’ three months prior to her death in Paris, makes me feel physically sick,” he said in a written statement to London’s High Court, per Deadline.
“Unfortunately, as a consequence of me bringing my Mirror Group claim, both myself and my wife have been subjected to a barrage of horrific personal attacks and intimidation from Piers Morgan,” said Harry, claiming that these attacks were done in the hope that he would “back down” in his lawsuit. Earlier in the trial, the High Court was told that Piers, now 58, allegedly discussed phone hacking in front of his colleagues on Mirror Group Newspapers. Former Mirror political editor David Seymour told the court that Piers Morgan played one of Paul McCartney’s voicemails to his then-girlfriend, Heather Mills, singing “And I Love Her” in an attempt to patch up their relationship.
Piers Morgan has “denied knowingly commissioning or using material from phone hacking,” per The Guardian. The Mirror also denies the claims that Diana’s voicemails being hacked are “total speculation without any evidential basis whatsoever.”
This is not the first time that Piers Morgan has clashed with Harry and Meghan Markle. It won’t likely be the last. Here’s what you need to know.
Piers Morgan Got His Start With The Tabloids
Piers began his journalism career working for The Sun in 1988 before joining the then-Rupert Murdoch-owned News of the World in 1994. At the time, Piers was the youngest editor of a British national newspaper in more than 50 years. Rupert Murdoch said that Piers had “balls bigger than his brains,” per The Guardian, and would later fire Morgan in 1995 for publishing photos of Catherine Victoria Lockwood—the then-wife of Charles, the Earl Spencer, aka the younger brother of Princess Diana—leaving a rehab facility, per The Daily Beast. Morgan would eventually be fired from his role as editor of the Daily Mirror for publishing fake photos of Iraqi prisoners being tortured by British soldiers.
He Doesn’t Like Harry & Meghan
Morgan has since transitioned to television work. He famously walked off the set of Good Morning Britain in 2021. After Harry and Meghan’s interview with Oprah Winfrey, Morgan dragged her and Harry for an “absolutely disgraceful betrayal” of the British royal family. Piers stormed off the set when a colleague called him out on air a day after his comments.
GMB weatherman Alex Beresford goaded Piers live on the air asking, “Has she said anything about you since she cut you off? I don’t think she has, but yet you continue to trash her. I understand that you don’t like Meghan Markle. You’ve made it so clear a number of times on this program.” Piers got up and said, “Okay, I’m done with this, sorry, no, sorry… see you later, sorry, can’t do this,” and walked off the set. Hours later, he quit the show, with GMB’s network ITV announcing, “ITV has accepted this decision and has nothing further to add.”
After Morgan’s initial outburst, the UK’s Office of Communications received over 41,000 complaints about his behavior. One of the complaints was from Meghan Markle herself. The sheer number of complaints prompted the UK’s regulatory organization to “launch an investigation into whether his comments broke the UK broadcasting code relating to harm and offense.”
Piers Morgan just walked off the Good Morning Britain set (!!!) after co-presenter Alex Beresford defended Harry and Meghan and condemned Piers' treatment of them in yesterday's programming pic.twitter.com/mH75J8ND4O
— Chris Rickett (@chrisrickett) March 9, 2021
He was highly critical of the way Meghan and Harry exited as senior working members of the BRF and how the couple’s decisions since may have hurt Queen Elizabeth. Following their Oprah interview, Piers ranted on GMB, “They’ve trashed [Harry’s] dad (King Charles), they’ve trashed his brother (Prince William), they’ve trashed his sister-in-law (Kate Middleton). They’ve trashed everything the Queen has worked so hard for, and we’re supposed to believe they’re compassionate?”
In a tweet after the interview, Piers wrote, “I expect all this vile, destructive, self-serving nonsense from Meghan Markle — but for Harry to let her take down his family and the Monarchy like this is shameful.”
Morgan Claims Meghan ‘Ghosted’ Him.
He initially told the story on a 2018 episode of Ireland’s The Late Late Show with host Ryan Tubridy of how they became Twitter DM friends, and she met up with Piers for drinks at his London pub in July of 2016. “She then said I’m coming to London to watch tennis with Serena Williams. She said would you like to meet up for a drink…We had two hours in a pub. She had a couple of dirty martinis and a couple of pints. We got along brilliantly. Then I put her in a cab,” Piers explained.
“And it turned out to be a cab that took her to a party where she met Prince Harry. And then, the next night, they had a solo dinner together, and that was the last I ever heard from Meghan Markle. And I have never heard from her again. Meghan Markle ghosted me…I really liked her. This is why it hurts. No…I really liked her. I just think she’s a slight social climber, I’m afraid…I didn’t really like being ghosted like that. I thought it was a strange thing to do.” He’s since brought up Meghan’s alleged “ghosting” him and others numerous times on GMB.
Piers Took Over Larry King’s Former CNN Show.
He replaced Larry King on his hour-long CNN evening interview show Larry King Live — becoming Piers Morgan Live — in Jan. 2011. King held the position from 1985-2010. Piers was much more outspoken on issues he felt were important as host. “There has been a slight timidity internally in not wanting to be provocative or opinionated on air because you could stray into being partisan,” he told the Hollywood Reporter in Oct. 2012. “If the anchor has taken a position on gun control or abortion, somehow you’re losing that neutrality. I don’t agree. I have become increasingly vocal on my show about these very issues, totally unafraid to say what I think.”
He Won ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ In 2008.
Morgan appeared as a judge on America’s Got Talent in 2006, being the resident “British man who hates everything.” He also appeared on Britain’s Got Talent and other programs.
He beat out country singer Trace Adkins for the title, with host Donald Trump calling him “ruthless, arrogant, evil and obnoxious” during the final, which turned out to be good things in the world of business. Piers and, Donald forged a close friendship, though he did not support many of the tycoon’s actions after he became President of the United States in Jan. 2017. Piers finally had enough and became openly critical of Trump’s inept handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020. Following the Jan. 6, 2021 insurgency on the U.S. Capitol by Trump’s supporters after he whipped them up at a rally, Piers called Trump “mentally unfit” to remain as POTUS.