Prince Harry has slammed accusations that he ‘boasted’ about killing 25 Taliban fighters in his memoir Spare, accusing his critics of ‘spinning’ his words and spouting ‘lies’ about the revelation, which he says have put his family ‘in danger’.
During his interview with The Late Show host Stephen Colbert, the 38-year-old vehemently defended his decision to share the information.
In a teaser clip for the show, Harry hit back at accusations that he ‘undermined his own security’ by writing about his Taliban kills, while blaming his critics for spreading ‘dangerous lies’ and ‘spinning his words’.
‘I think one of… the most dangerous lies that they have told is that I somehow boasted about the number of people I have killed in Afghanistan,’ he told Colbert.
‘I would say that if I heard anybody else, anyone, boasting about that kind of thing, I would be angry. But it’s a lie.
He added: ‘My words are not dangerous, but the spin of my words are very dangerous to my family.’
The Duke of Sussex faced serious criticism from politicians and senior former military members after leaked excerpts from his book revealed his recollections of killing 25 Taliban members while he was serving as an Apache helicopter pilot.
After the excerpts were published last week, former British Army commander Colonel Richard Kemp described Harry’s comments as ‘ill-judged’ and warned that his admissions could cause pro-Taliban sympathizers to be ‘provoked to attempt revenge’ against him and possibly ‘incite some people to attempt an attack on British soldiers anywhere in the world’.
However, Harry insisted to Colbert that it was not his words that were dangerous but rather the ‘spin’ that his critics have put on them, with the duke saying it is ‘a choice they have made’, which has put his family in danger.
He went on to insist that the reason he chose to write about his kill count was to ‘reduce the number of suicides’ among military veterans.
‘I made a choice to share it because, having spent nearly two decades working with veterans all around the world, I think the most important thing is to be honest and to give space to others to share their experiences without any shame,’ he said – while receiving applause from the audience, which included several veterans.
‘And my whole goal, my attempt with sharing that detail is to reduce the number of suicides.’