Prince Harry’s past illegal drug use at issue in US visa case

A US court on Tuesday will hear a case filed by a conservative think tank seeking to know more about the awarding of a visa to Britain’s Prince Harry despite the admission in his memoir that he had used illegal drugs.

The hearing will address a complaint filed by the Washington-based Heritage Foundation under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) asking for the release of the British royal’s immigration records.

The 38-year-old Harry will not be in court for the hearing — he was in London’s High Court on Tuesday complaining about the “incredibly invasive” media coverage that he has endured from the British press.

The younger son of Britain’s King Charles III accuses Mirror Group Newspapers — publisher of The Mirror, Sunday Mirror and the Sunday People tabloids — of illegal information gathering, including phone hacking.

In its complaint being heard in US District Court, the Heritage Foundation noted that Harry “has publicly admitted to the essential elements of a number of drug offenses in both the United States and abroad.”

“United States law generally renders such a person inadmissible for entry to the United States,” the complaint says.

In his book “Spare,” Harry admitted to experimenting with drugs including marijuana, cocaine, and psychedelics.

The Heritage Foundation is asking the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to release Harry’s immigration file, saying there is “widespread public and press interest” in the case.

In its response, the government said that while there “may be some public interest in the records sought,” it is not presently convinced there is a compelling need to release the records.

In its complaint, the Heritage Foundation noted that other celebrities such as the late football star Maradona and the late singer Amy Winehouse had been denied entry into the United States because of past drug use.

A previous request by the Heritage Foundation for the release of Harry’s immigration records was rejected by the US authorities because they did not have his consent to do so.

Visa applicants to the United States are asked about their past drug use and can be barred from entry, although there are exceptions and waivers can be granted.

Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, an American citizen, moved to the United States in January 2020 after stepping away from their royal duties.

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