Omid Scobie: Here's Everything We Know About The Controversial Royal Author

British journalist and writer Omid Scobie has garnered attention for his deep dive into the intricacies of the royal family. While he began his career as a celebrity reporter, it was his association with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex that propelled him into the public eye. Best known as the co-author of the book "Finding Freedom" and the sole author of "Endgame" published in 2023, Scobie's work has been both acclaimed and criticized for its revelations about the royal family.

"Endgame" faced major controversy when a Dutch edition accidentally revealed the names of the royals who allegedly commented about the skin color of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's son Archie. "Endgame" faced a temporary withdrawal from shelves in the Netherlands amidst revelations of racism within the royal family. The book's abrupt removal added fuel to the ongoing controversy surrounding its content. Scobie initially claimed that the royals involved in the comments were named in private letters exchanged between King Charles III and Meghan Markle.

However, Scobie has acknowledged that an early and uncleared version of his book "Endgame" was mistakenly sent to the Dutch publisher to facilitate the translation process. Emphasizing that this version was not the final submission, Scobie later clarified the unintended error in the publication process. For their part, the Dutch publisher, Xander Uitgevers, has rejected Scobie's account of events. In this article, we'll delve into the various facets of the controversial royal author's life, beyond the drama surrounding his two books about the royal family.

He was born in Wales and grew up in England

Omid Scobie was born in Wales in 1981, marking the beginning of a life that would intertwine with the British royal family in unexpected ways. Growing up in Oxfordshire, Scobie attended the prestigious Magdalen College School, a fee-paying institution that played a role in shaping his academic foundation, before completing his education at Cherwell. He told Tatler, "I'm still in touch with many friends from there."

His educational journey continued, and he eventually found himself in the world of journalism, embarking on a career that would lead him to the epicenter of royal reporting. Scobie's multicultural background adds an extra layer to his narrative. While his father is Scottish, he describes his mother's side of the family as "Persian, and slightly aristocratic." He told Tatler, "My mum's side of the family is not Muslim and has no connection to the Islamic Republic of Iran. I remember the first sentence of the first Daily Mail story about the book: 'British-Iranian author.' I was, like, 'I see what's happening here.'"

This fusion of cultures and experiences likely played a role in shaping Scobie's approach to his work, providing him with a nuanced understanding of the dynamics within the royal family and the broader societal context.

He's the royal editor-at-large for Harper's Bazaar and writes for several magazines

In navigating his journalistic career, Omid Scobie emphasizes his prowess in reporting. With a foundation in journalism from the London College of Communication, his career path took diverse turns. From an eight-month stint at Heat to contributing to the launch of a women's magazine, Scobie's trajectory led him to the entertainment title, US Weekly, where he eventually spearheaded the establishment of the London bureau. Upon entering the royal press pack, Scobie faced skepticism. Initial sentiments portrayed him as a novice set to produce superficial pieces. However, according to Tatler, he defied expectations, earning his stripes through meticulous attention to detail.

Leveraging his innate talent for lip-reading, honed at red-carpet events for US Weekly, Scobie emerged as a journalist adept at capturing vivid narratives and compelling quotes. His journey underscores not only his resilience but also his ability to adapt and excel in the dynamic world of royal reporting, where insider information and perceptive observations are key. Currently, he's the royal editor-at-large for several publications including Harper's Bazaar and Cosmopolitan, as well as a royal correspondent for Good Morning America.

He's been accused of being a mouthpiece for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Omid Scobie has been accused of being a "mouthpiece" for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and his career trajectory has been a journey from tabloid reporter to the author of bestselling biographies, earning him monikers such as "Meghan's mouthpiece" and the Sussexes' "cheerleader-in-chief."

Scobie's association with the royal couple became particularly pronounced with the release of "Finding Freedom" and "Endgame." These works, offering insights into the lives of Harry and Meghan, as well as the rest of the British royal family, have cemented Scobie's status as a go-to source for royal revelations. The accusations of being a "mouthpiece" stem from his close ties to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, raising questions about journalistic impartiality.

In a comprehensive exploration of Scobie's link to the Sussex team, it's important to consider his own words. Speaking about Meghan and Harry, the author told The Times, "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." While Scobie has faced criticism for alleged bias, his influence on royal narratives is undeniable. The accusations of being a "mouthpiece" raise questions about the delicate balance between journalism and proximity to the subjects of coverage.

He has denied ever interviewing Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for either of his books

Omid Scobie has faced massive scrutiny in the U.K. and abroad over claims in his most recent book, "Endgame." Per Grazia, the book describes King Charles III as being "an unpopular king" and Prince William as being "power hungry." The Sussexes have been massively connected to the book, at least in the media, with rumors that Meghan Markle's Hollywood talent agency may even drop her due to the fallout. In Scobie's first book, "Finding Freedom" the Sussexes also denied any involvement, however, Meghan was later forced to tell a Court of Appeal that she permitted her PR to brief Scobie and his co-author.

Scobie has denied interviewing Meghan and Prince Harry several times, even recently telling The Standard, "I'm very tired of the 'Meg's pal' stuff," adding, "I feel like it's a force that I can't even stop ... no matter how many times I explain that I'm not her friend ... there's always going to be a million people still calling me 'Meg's pal.'"

Despite the controversy surrounding his books, Scobie has built a reputation as a trusted royal correspondent. His in-depth knowledge of the intricacies of the royal family has made him a sought-after commentator on matters related to the monarchy. As Scobie continues to play a pivotal role in shaping the narrative around the royals, the denial of interviews with the subjects themselves adds a layer of intrigue to his career.

He appeared as a witness during the phone-hacking trial against Mirror Group Newspapers

Omid Scobie played a pivotal role as a witness during the phone-hacking trial against Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN). The trial, which took place at the London High Court, involved Prince Harry and several other celebrities suing the British publisher over alleged breaches related to phone hacking and the publication of intrusive articles.

During the trial, Scobie provided crucial testimony, shedding light on the practices within MGN. His statements included revelations about the use of voicemails for stories, a practice he highlighted during the proceedings. Per Sky News, 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". He later added, "I was taken aback by what seemed completely immoral and I never carried out the task."

Scobie's involvement in the trial added a layer of complexity to the legal proceedings, as he brought his insights as a journalist covering the royal family to the forefront.

He once claimed he was five years younger than his actual age

Omid Scobie faced scrutiny when it was revealed that he had misrepresented his age, claiming to be five years younger. The controversy came to light in a report by The Sun in September 2020, exposing the inconsistencies in Scobie's stated age. According to The Sun, Scobie allegedly insisted in a profile for The Times by journalist Andrew Billen that he was 33 years old when, in fact, he was 38 at the time.

In an interview with Tatler, Scobie disputed claims that he was 33 years old, clarifying, "I'm 38 years old, not 33." Scobie found himself in a verbal sparring match with Billen, who he claimed hadn't inquired about his age. According to Scobie, Billen was subtly suggesting a parallel between Scobie's age and that of biographer Andrew Morton when he wrote "Diana: Her True Story."

Billen alleged that Scobie had explicitly mentioned, "I'm 33, I just turned 33." This exchange prompted congratulations from Billen, who noted the age at which Morton published Diana's story: 40. Scobie, taking a lighthearted tone, responded, "Oh, ok. Not that it's a competition or anything. I'm a big fan of what he did" (via Tatler). In a later interview with The Times in November 2023, Scobie finally came clean, admitted he had "little insecurity" about turning 40, and lied about his age. He said it was "unfortunate and naive of me. I've not been under the knife, not done anything crazy."

He and Meghan Markle hugged during her last engagement as a working royal

In a poignant moment marking the culmination of Meghan Markle's journey as a working royal, an intimate embrace transpired between her and Omid Scobie. According to Scobie's interview with Tatler, this heartfelt hug took place during Meghan's final engagement before stepping back from royal duties.

As Scobie delved into the intricacies of Meghan's transition out of royal life, he shared a glimpse into this emotional farewell. The embrace, described as "a big farewell hug," signifies the profound connection between Meghan Markle and Omid Scobie. Despite the depth of this moment, Scobie maintains a professional stance, emphasizing that while such connections are part of the job, they don't necessarily translate into personal friendships. Of course, Scobie described it in quite dramatic fashion, telling the publication that under "malachite candelabras" in the 1844 Room in Buckingham Palace, as they embraced, Meghan told him, "It didn't have to be this way."

This revelation adds a layer of humanity to the narrative surrounding Meghan Markle's exit from royal life, showcasing the emotional weight carried by both the subject and the chronicler. When asked how he managed to score the invite, Scobie told Tatler, "I think she wanted to share that last moment because it is a moment in history. But also to do it in an environment she felt safe in."

He hosted The HeirPod podcast all about the British royal family

Omid Scobie showcased his expertise and insight into the British royal family through his hosting of "The HeirPod" podcast. As the host of this captivating show, Scobie delved deep into the intricacies of royal life, providing listeners with a behind-the-scenes look at the monarchy. The episodes, like his books, were very much in favor of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and included titles like, "New Racism Allegations Hit the Palace" and "Inside Prince Harry and Oprah's New Docu-Series." It appears the episodes stopped in September 2022, with the last one being "Queen Elizabeth II: A Royal Life" after the queen's death, but no explanation has been given as to why.

"The HeirPod" offered a unique platform for Scobie to break down the latest royal stories, share insider perspectives, and conduct interviews with key figures in the royal sphere. Serving as both an ABC News royal contributor and the host of this podcast, Scobie became a trusted source for those eager to stay updated on the latest developments within the royal family.

Listeners tuned in weekly to gain valuable insights into palace intrigue, significant royal events, and the personal lives of the royal members. Scobie's hosting style blended expertise with a nuanced understanding of the human side of royalty, making "The HeirPod" not only informative but also engaging for a diverse audience interested in the British monarchy.

He and his parents have been harassed and bullied since his books were released

After his books "Finding Freedom" and "Endgame" were published, Omid Scobie faced distressing harassment and bullying, extending not only to him but also affecting his parents. In a candid interview with Business Insider, Scobie shared the challenges he and his family have endured since the release of his controversial works.

Scobie revealed the disturbing reality of the situation, claiming that at the time of the interview, his father was being harassed by tabloid journalists. "It's made the job very unenjoyable at times. It has affected my life in ways that I don't think I'll ever really be able to verbalize well enough, but I've also reached a point now where I don't care."

He added that in 2018 when he was being targeted and called a "terrorist" after the Daily Mail referred to him as a "British-Iranian journalist" Meghan Markle called him to make sure he was okay. According to Business Insider, he wrote in his book that while he appreciated their conversation, he felt deflated at the fact that she was checking in on him when nobody would do the same for her. This revelation underscores the personal toll that investigative journalism, especially in the realm of royalty, can exact on individuals, demonstrating the broader impact beyond the pages of the books.