Legal experts have spoken out about whether Prince Harry’s past drug use admission will affect his rights to live in the U.S.
Harry, who stepped back as a senior royal alongside wife Meghan Markle in March 2020 before moving to California, admitted to taking cocaine, mushrooms and smoking weed, as well as drinking heavily, in his tell-all memoir Spare.
Former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani has now told Page Six that his admission should have previously been declared to officials.
“An admission of drug use is usually grounds for inadmissibility,” Rahmani said.
“That means Prince Harry’s visa should have been denied or revoked because he admitted to using cocaine, mushrooms and other drugs.”
Rahmani, who is president of West Coast Trial Lawyers, insisted there was “no exception for royalty or recreational use.”
Despite Rahmani’s comments, other legal experts have said Harry would only have issues if he was to get into trouble and do something that was considered a criminal act.
James Leonard, who represented “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” star Joe Giudice in his immigration case, told the publication: “Absent any criminal charge related to drugs or alcohol or any finding by a judicial authority that Prince Harry is a habitual drug user, which he clearly is not, I don’t see any issue with the disclosures in his memoir regarding recreational experimentation with drugs.
“You’ve got to give them something that would trigger it, and revealing it in a book, that you experimented with drugs when you were a young man, I don’t think gets you there.
“Immigration is not going to do anything based on that. If he got arrested or if he got a DWI, then we’re having a different conversation.”
READ MORE: Courteney Cox Responds To Prince Harry Saying He Ate Psychedelic Mushrooms At Her House: ‘I Wasn’t Passing Them Out’
Immigration lawyer Sam Adair agreed with Leonard that it is “unlikely that these admissions will present a problem.”
“If there had been a conviction, it would have likely been a significant issue in getting a visa,” he said, adding: “This isn’t to say that drug use could not be a problem in the immigration process, but in this circumstance, it is unlikely that this would present an issue.
“It isn’t clear to me what the Duke’s visa status is in the U.S., but breaking the law could be an issue in getting a visa renewed or for readmission to the U.S. But recreational drug use that has not been the subject of criminal scrutiny is unlikely to present an issue for someone’s visa status.”
Leonard pointed out, “If he had a criminal charge, it could absolutely affect his status and whether it gets renewed or terminated. But just to say that you indulged in that behaviour, the answer is no [it would not affect his status].”
“Someone is considered in remission after one year of sobriety,” Rahmani did state of a possible loophole. “A waiver request requires a doctor to submit medical records, but it’s unclear whether Prince Harry made such a request because immigration files are not public.”
Harry’s drug use admissions hit headlines around the world when his book was released in January.
READ MORE: Prince Harry Opens Up About Losing His Virginity To An Older Woman In A Field And Taking Cocaine At Age 17 In Bombshell New Memoir
He revealed he’d previously dug in to “a huge box of black diamond mushroom chocolates” while staying at Courteney Cox’s house years ago, as well as admitting to taking cocaine for the first time at age 17 during a hunting weekend.
Harry wrote of taking the drug, “It wasn’t much fun, and it didn’t make me feel particularly happy the way the others seemed to, but it did make me feel different, and that was my main goal. To feel. To be different.”
The Duke of Sussex said he was a “17-year-old willing to try almost anything that would upset the established order” at the time, adding that he smoked cigarettes and cannabis, as well.