“Truth-teller” Prince Harry may find himself in hot water — and lose his rights to live in the US — for being too honest about his past drug use, a legal expert tells Page Six exclusively.
However, others argue that the British royal is in the clear — unless he happens to one day find himself behind bars.
“An admission of drug use is usually grounds for inadmissibility,” former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani says.
“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 the president of West Coast Trial Lawyers, adds that there is “no exception for royalty or recreational use.”
The Duke of Sussex revealed in his memoir, “Spare,” released in January, that he “drank heavily,” used cocaine and smoked pot throughout his lifetime.
While Harry, 38, claimed he only used coke as a teen, he has also admitted to experimenting with psychedelics well into his adulthood.
The prince said during an online chat with trauma expert Gabor Maté earlier this month that he considers hallucinogenic drugs to be a “fundamental” part of his life.
“It was the cleaning of the windscreen, the removal of life’s filters — these layers of filters — it removed it all for me and brought me a sense of relaxation, relief, comfort, a lightness that I managed to hold back for a period of time,” he shared at the time.
“I started doing it recreationally and then started to realize how good it was for me.”
Attorney James Leonard, who represented “Real Housewives of New Jersey” alum Joe Giudice in his immigration case, disagrees with Rahmani that Harry’s status in the US is at such high risk.
“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,” the high-profile New Jersey-based lawyer tells Page Six.
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Leonard explains that drug users who are not US citizens would have to give immigration officials a reason to launch an investigation into the individual’s status, like a criminal act.
“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,” the celebrity attorney adds.
“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.”
Sam Adair, an immigration lawyer with more than two decades of experience, agrees 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,” the executive partner at Graham Adair points out.
He adds, “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 US, but breaking the law could be an issue in getting a visa renewed or for readmission to the US. But recreational drug use that has not been the subject of criminal scrutiny is unlikely to present an issue for someone’s visa status.”
However, Rahmani maintains that there is “no requirement that the person actually be convicted of a drug offense.”
He notes, though, that a loophole for drug users to stay in the US would be for them to “get a waiver” as proof that their substance abuse “is in remission.”
“Someone is considered in remission after one year of sobriety,” Rahmani explains. “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 has not disclosed that he has ever struggled with serious drug issues or had to go to rehab for any substance-related problems.
Adair says that past recreational drug use is “not something that is likely to have been raised in a visa interview,” so it was likely not an issue during Harry’s approval process.
“The drug use could be an issue if there had ever been an arrest, charge or conviction, but recreational use would not likely come up in the visa interview,” the Texas-based lawyer concludes.
Leonard agrees, “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 behavior, the answer is no [it would not affect his status].”
Harry moved to California with his wife, Meghan Markle, and their son, Archie, in early 2020 after quitting the royal family that January.
According to a 2021 article by the Times, the duke has no plans to seek a permanent US residency, citizenship or a “green card at any point.”
A top immigration attorney previously told Page Six that should any issues arise, Markle, 41, who was born in California, could sponsor her husband.