Friend of Meghan Markle Omid Scobie has launched a staunch defence of Prince Harry‘s controversial memoir Spare as he argued the prince was right to write his own story – just as King Charles and Diana both did.
Writing in a column for Yahoo, Mr Scobie criticised media coverage for casting the book, which details alleged fights with Harry’s brother the Prince of Wales, as a ‘tawdry tell-all’.
He said: ‘Reading it from start to end tells a much more nuanced and layered story. One with heart as well as fire.’
It came as he shared photographs of Prince Harry’s comments on Afghanistan, in which he revealed he killed 25 Taliban members, saying: ‘And this is why context matters.’
Omid Scobie, a close friend of Harry and Meghan, argued Prince Harry’s memoir is no different from similar works published about his parents in the 1990s
Mr Scobie came to Harry’s defence on social media, arguing ‘context is key’ as he shared an extract from Spare describing the prince’s time in Afghanistan
The memoir Spare, which was due to come out within days, was leaked when Spanish stores began selling the Spanish version of the book ahead of its official launch on January 10 – despite being in clearly labelled boxes warning it was not for sale prior to that point.
Revelations so far include fights with Prince William, conversations in which he begged his father not to marry Camilla, and the final words he said to his grandmother, the late Queen Elizabeth II.
The Duke of Sussex has been accused of airing ‘dirty laundry’ in public – but Mr Scobie has once again supported the couple.
Taking aim at the royal family’s ‘short-term memory loss’, Meghan’s trusted friend pointed to biographies of both Diana and Prince Charles written after their divorce.
He went on to draw parallels between the press and public’s response to then-Prince of Wales King Charles’ work: ‘For Charles, the negative response from the British press and public was intense.
‘Accused of ferociously attacking his family and disgracing the monarchy, newspaper polls and opinion pieces declared him unfit to be king and some journalists even suggested he should be stripped of his titles. (Sounds familiar again?).’
He added: ‘Harry has spent most of his life being written and talked about—a spare to the heir whose darkest secrets, regretful moments and struggles have repeatedly been revealed to the world by a press with an insatiable appetite for him and his family.
‘Having never been able to share that life in his own words, it was inevitable the prince would want to put pen to paper the moment he stepped back from his role three years ago.’
Omid Scobie tweeted in support of Prince Harry’s memoir, saying that context ‘matters’ when reporting on the contents of the book
But Mr Scobie went further with public statements on his own social media, criticising the media in a similar way to the Sussex’s own comments in their tell-all docuseries on Netflix, Harry and Meghan.
Discussing the series of revelations about Harry’s time in Afghanistan, which included the revelation that he killed at least 25 Taliban militants and saw them as ‘chess pieces’ to be removed from the board, rather than people, Mr Scobie said: ‘I’m anti-war, so any talk of killing is not for me.
‘But it’s wild to see how in 2013, papers called Harry “hero prince”, “action man”, “swashbuckling royal” when he spoke about killing Taliban insurgents.
‘A decade on (and now the enemy) he’s attacked for repeating the same claim.’
In his tweets, Mr Scobie continued: ‘And this is why context matters. #SPARE may have leaked early but (as would be the case with any book) the tiny snippets being reported don’t do the text justice.’
He then shared a leaked extract from the book, which detailed Harry’s ‘problematic’ army training to ‘other-ize’ Taliban insurgents.
Prince Harry wrote: ‘Afghanistan was a war of mistakes, a war of enormous collateral damage – thousands of innocents killed and maimed, and that always haunted us.
‘So my goal from the day I arrived was never to go to bed doubting that I’d done the right thing, that my targets had been correct, that I was firing on Taliban and only Taliban.’
He also described how helicopter technology allowed him to know exactly how many people he had killed, and that his kill count did not give him ‘satisfaction’, nor did it make him ‘ashamed’.
The book comes just weeks after Harry and Meghan’s bombshell docuseries on Netflix, in which Harry accused the rest of the royal family of leaking stories about his wife to the press in order to direct attention away from themselves
Prince Harry’s memoir will hit the shelves on January 10 in the UK and across the world
The Duke of Sussex wrote: ‘While in the heat and fog of combat, I didn’t think of those twenty-five as people. You can’t kill people if you think of them as people.’
Some former soldiers have publicly criticised Harry’s candid comments, saying he has broken an ‘unwritten rule’ by revealing his number of kills.
As well as his time in Afghanistan, Harry’s memoir revealed details of an alleged incident in which his brother physically pushed him to the floor, leaving him dazed and lying on a smashed dog’s bowl.
He also claimed the now-Prince of Wales had called Meghan ‘difficult’, ‘rude’ and ‘abrasive’.
Harry alleges that he and William told Charles they would welcome the now-Queen Consort into the family on the condition he did not marry her, and ‘begged’ him not to do so.
The Duke alleges that his father did not respond to their pleas.
As well as royal secrets, the book contains a series of startling revelations about the young prince’s drug use, which included cocaine and magic mushrooms, and that he supposedly lost his virginity to an older woman in a field behind a pub.
Omid Scobie wrote that the personal anecdotes contained within Spare’s pages ‘humanise’ the royals, who he claims have been ‘reduced to caricatures in a very public circus.’
The book comes just weeks after Harry and Meghan’s bombshell docuseries on Netflix, in which Harry accused the rest of the royal family of leaking stories about his wife to the press in order to direct attention away from themselves.
Buckingham Palace refused to comment on the allegations made in the series.