Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are taking Associated Newspapers to court over the alleged unlawful publication of a private letter the duchess wrote.
The royal couple confirmed on their official website they are suing the publisher over the Mail on Sunday‘s publication of her letter.
In a lengthy statement, Prince Harry said they had been forced to take legal action after the “painful” impact of “relentless propaganda” against Markle from the British tabloid press.
He said his “deepest fear is history repeating itself,” referencing the press coverage his late mother Princess Diana received.
Markle’s claims include the paper misused private information, infringed on copyright and breached the Data Protection Act 2018.
In a statement, Prince Harry wrote: “As a couple, we believe in media freedom and objective, truthful reporting. We regard it as a cornerstone of democracy and in the current state of the world — on every level — we have never needed responsible media more.
“Unfortunately, my wife has become one of the latest victims of a British tabloid press that wages campaigns against individuals with no thought to the consequences – a ruthless campaign that has escalated over the past year, throughout her pregnancy and while raising our newborn son.”
Prince Harry wrote the decision to take legal action was “many months in the making.”
“This particular legal action hinges on one incident in a long and disturbing pattern of behaviour by British tabloid media.
“The contents of a private letter were published unlawfully in an intentionally destructive manner to manipulate you, the reader, and further the divisive agenda of the media group in question. In addition to their unlawful publication of this private document, they purposely misled you by strategically omitting select paragraphs, specific sentences, and even singular words to mask the lies they had perpetuated for over a year.”
A legal spokesperson from Schillings who are representing Markle said: “We have initiated legal proceedings against the Mail on Sunday, and its parent company Associated Newspapers, over the intrusive and unlawful publication of a private letter written by the Duchess of Sussex, which is part of a campaign by this media group to publish false and deliberately derogatory stories about her, as well as her husband.
“Given the refusal of Associated Newspapers to resolve this issue satisfactorily, we have issued proceedings to redress this breach of privacy, infringement of copyright and the aforementioned media agenda”.
Prince Harry wrote it’s time for British tabloids press to be held accountable.
“Though this action may not be the safe one, it is the right one. Because my deepest fear is history repeating itself. I’ve seen what happens when someone I love is commoditised to the point that they are no longer treated or seen as a real person. I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces.”
The couple will personally fund the litigation and will donate any damages to an anti-bullying charity.
You can read the full statement here.