Prince Harry Denies 'Boasting' About Killing Taliban Fighters, Aimed to Help Veterans

Prince Harry and Stephen Colbert
John Phillips/Getty Images/Scott Kowalchyk/CBS via Getty Images

The royal's TV appearance on 'The Late Show' comes the same day as his tell-all memoir's release.

Prince Harry made his first-ever appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, which aired Tuesday night. In the sit-down interview, the Duke of Sussex gets serious about the discourse surrounding his military service.

In Spare, Harry claims that he killed 25 suspected Taliban insurgents during his two tours of Afghanistan. The excerpt -- which was leaked ahead of the memoir's release -- details how the royal was neither "satisfied" nor "embarrassed" by the executions he committed while in service. 

“In truth, you can’t hurt people if you see them as people,” Harry writes in Spare. “They were chess pieces taken off the board, bad guys eliminated before they kill good guys. They trained me to ‘other’ them and they trained me well.”

Speaking with Colbert, Harry addressed the backlash to his highly publicized memoir and claimed the leaked excerpts, published by various outlets, unfairly reduced his military experience to "boasting."

"I'm not gonna lie, the last few days have been hurtful and challenging," he said. "Without a doubt, the most dangerous lie that they have told, is that I somehow boasted about the number of people I killed in Afghanistan."

Harry continued, "If I heard anybody boasting about that kind of thing, I would be angry -- but it's a lie. And hopefully, now that the book is out, people will be able to see the context. It's really troubling and very disturbing that they can get away with it."

Doubling down, Harry explained that his "words are not dangerous," but the spin on his words is "very dangerous." 

Colbert then brings up the fact that Harry had already previously admitted to killing Afghani insurgents. To which Harry explained, “Almost ten years to the day my face was splattered all over the front pages because someone asked me the question, while I was still in Afghanistan, if I had killed anybody from an attack helicopter. And I said ‘yes,’” Harry said. 

Harry shared that he believed writing about his military experience would help aid veterans who have gone through similar, traumatizing experiences. 

“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 be able to give space to others to be able to share their experiences without any shame,” Prince Harry continued. “And my whole goal and my attempt with sharing that detail is to reduce the number of suicides.”

In addition to recounting his military service, within the tell-all book, Harry makes multiple allegations against his older brother, Prince William, William's wife, Kate Middleton, details his traumatic search to find closure surrounding the death of his mother, Princess Diana, and much more. 

In the lead-up to Spare's release, Prince Harry has sat for interviews with ITV's Tom Bradby, Anderson Cooper for 60 Minutes, and Michael Strahan for Good Morning America

From allegations of his family maligning Meghan to his memories of struggling to cope with the death of his mother, Princess Diana, Harry didn't hold back in each of his TV appearances.