Harry denounces "damaging" rumor Father James Hewitt

In new court testimony, Prince Harry concedes that the long-running rumor that James Hewitt is his biological father,

rather than King Charles III, has caused him immense sorrow over the years.

The Duke of Sussex is suing Mirror Group Newspaper Limited for allegedly utilizing unethical means to collect information on him over the years,

such as phone hacking. In a written statement obtained by the New York Times on Tuesday, 

he chastised the group's media for promoting the paternity claim in multiple articles.

"At the time, when I was 18 years old and had just lost my mother [Princess Diana] six years before,

stories like this felt very damaging and very real to me," Harry remarked, referring to a Dec. 15, 2002, The People article headed "Plot to Rob Harry's DNA."

"They were hurtful, mean, and cruel," the prince went on to say. "I was always left wondering about the motivations behind the stories."