Who is Omid Scobie and what is the Endgame author’s link to the Royal Family? | UK News

Nov 29, 2023 | Entertainment, News

Omid Scobie has been called a “mouthpiece” for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle – when he says he is just a journalist “trying to do my job”.

The royal correspondent previously co-authored the biography ‘Finding Freedom’ about the Sussexes and their split from the Royal Family.

Now his latest book, Endgame, has caused controversy as Dutch copies have been pulled after the royal who “questioned” Archie’s skin colour was reportedly named in the translation.

Sky News looks at who the royal biographer is – and how he manages to get his scoops.

From Oxford to the world of celebrity

Mr Scobie was born in Wales and raised in Oxford, where he went to private school for most of his education until attending a state sixth form.

His father’s family is Scottish, and his mother’s Persian. He told Tatler he is particular about saying Persian not Iranian, “because to Persians there’s a big difference”.

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Who is Omid Scobie and what is the Endgame author’s link to the Royal Family?

“My mum’s side of the family is not Muslim and has no connection to the Islamic Republic of Iran,” he explained.

He studied journalism at the London College of Communication and then worked as a celebrity reporter for Heat magazine.

He went on to join entertainment magazine US Weekly, staying there for a decade and setting up the London bureau, before becoming royal editor-at-large of Harper Bazaar – an American women’s fashion magazine.

Read more:
Five revelations from Endgame
Omid Scobie says he did not interview Duchess of Sussex

How well does Omid Scobie know the royals?

Mr Scobie is known to the Sussexes – something he was careful to engineer.

He had been covering the royal beat for five years when Prince Harry started dating Meghan, then best-known for her role on Netflix drama Suits.

He told The Times he was determined to get to know them: “I was going to work my damn hardest to make sure I was close to every single person in their lives, and become someone that, at the very least, people at the palace feel they can come to when they need to correct a story.”

In 2020, Mr Scobie was one of three journalists invited to cover Meghan’s last engagement as a working royal, hours before she flew to Canada to start a new chapter in North America.

The pair shared a “goodbye hug”, he wrote in Harper’s Bazaar, as “the emotions” of the immiment departure “finally set in”.

But he has also been keen to distance himself from claims he is the Sussexes’ friend.

“I’m not ‘Meg’s pal’,” he posted on X, formerly Twitter, in advance of Endgame’s release.

“I am not their friend and never have been,” he repeated in an interview with Paris Match.

He said he did not interview Meghan for either of his books, but sharing mutual friends with her helped with sourcing information.

He also credits lip-reading skills he learnt at US Weekly with some of the juicy tidbits he picks up, as well as a knack for asking staff for insider information.

Omid Scobie Endgame Royals

A witness in the phone hacking trial

During the phone hacking trial against Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN), Mr Scobie claimed he was taught how to access celebrities’ voicemails while doing work experience at the Sunday People.

He told the court he was given “a list of mobile numbers followed by a detailed verbal description of how to listen to voicemails as if it were a routine newsgathering technique”.

In his witness statement, he said: “I was taken aback by what seemed completely immoral and I never carried out the task.”

Asked whether he had a “vested interest” in helping Prince Harry, Mr Scobie replied: “No.

“What I am doing right now is giving ammunition to the tabloids to continue calling me his friend.”

Arson threats and abuse

Among the clamour of media attention in the wake of Finding Freedom – 170 articles in the first five days – was abuse and threats.

“Have I had to call the police over racist comments and threats to burn my house down? Absolutely,” he told Tatler.

“The publisher offered security for my parents because we’ve had a couple of unwanted visitors. I think the whole thing has spun out of control.”

Asked whether those experiences made him more empathetic towards the Sussexes, he said they “absolutely” had now he had “experienced a sliver of what they’re up against”.

It wasn’t the first time he had been subject to abuse related to his royal reporting.

Meghan personally phoned Mr Scobie in 2018 after learning he had received social media threats, he revealed in Endgame.

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