Prince Harry’s ghostwriter specialises in writing about ‘broken men’

Prince Harry says Princess Diana would be ‘sad’ about William rift

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Prince Harry’s new memoir is due to be released on Tuesday, January 10, however, it accidentally went on sale early in Spain before it was withdrawn, meaning several bombshell allegations have circulated. The Duke of Sussex employed the help of John Joseph Moehringer — who is known by his pen name as J. R. Moehringer — to write the book. This is not Mr Moehringer’s first rodeo as he also helped write other famous faces’ respective memoirs, namely tennis champion Andre Agassi and Nike founder Phil Knight. But who is the 58-year-old writer?

Born in New York and raised to a single mother, Mr Moehringer studied at Yale University on a scholarship before graduating in 1986. He then landed a job at The New York Times, writing features.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist penned a 2005 memoir called The Tender Bar which appears to have resonated with some of his famous clientele.

A source who works for the author told the Daily Mail in October: “He is charming and easy-going, but he has a killer nose for a story. He’s spent his life writing about broken men and family relationships, starting with his own broken family.”

In the book, he writes that his father, a radio DJ called Johnny Michaels, allegedly tried to suffocate his mother and cornered her in a bathroom with a razor before leaving the family when Mr Moehringer was a toddler.

In the autobiographical work, he discussed what he described as his “complex and difficult” relationship with his absent father, to which the tennis champion Andre Agassi also seemed to relate.

Mr Moehringer collaborated with Mr Agassi on his bestselling 2009 autobiography, Open, the cover of which bears a striking resemblance to Harry’s thanks to its punchy title and close-up, pensive headshot donning the cover.

Speaking to NPR in 2012, Mr Moehringer described his writing process with the 52-year-old as akin to a therapy session.

Mr Moehringer — who spent 250 hours working with the Olympic Gold medallist — said: “Well, [Andre Agassi and I] did a lot of things together. And the first thing that we did was we started a long really wonderful conversation about his life. It worked like therapy.

“I sat in a straight back chair and Andre sat on a couch and I had a pad in my lap and he really, he dug deep, and together we found patterns and themes in his life.”

Like Mr Moehringer, Mr Agassi had had a difficult relationship with his “tyrant” father who he said had been controlling and made him hate tennis.

The Tender Bar was adapted into a film starring Ben Affleck, released in 2021, which was directed by George Clooney. This has in turn fuelled rumours that it was the Clooneys — who are friends with the Sussexes — who introduced Mr Moehringer to the Prince.

As seen in Mr Agassi and Mr Moehringer’s respective works, Harry has opened up about his relationship with his own father, King Charles III.

In excerpts leaked ahead of the January 10 publication, Harry detailed how he found it “remarkably unfunny” that the Monarch had joked that he may not be his “real father”.

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There have long been rumours that the former Cavalry Officer James Hewitt is the Duke’s father. Yet the Gulf War veteran’s affair with Princess Diana is said to have lasted from 1986 to 1991 — Prince Harry was born in 1984.

Harry also alleges that on the day of his birth, Charles told Diana: “Wonderful! Now you’ve given me an heir and a spare — my work is done.”

Not only have Mr Moehringer and the Duke explored their relationships with their fathers, but the hardship of losing a mother.

The critically acclaimed author dedicated his autobiography to his mother, who died four years after it was published.

Mr Moehringer lives in the San Francisco Bay area with his book editor wife, Shannon Welch, and their two children.

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