At the tail end of their African royal tour, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have announced a lawsuit against the Mail on Sunday and its parent company, Associated Newspapers.
In an official statement published to the Sussexes’ website, Prince Harry writes of the media scrutiny Duchess Meghan has been under.
“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,” the statement begins.
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It continues: “Up to now, we have been unable to correct the continual misrepresentations — something that these select media outlets have been aware of and have therefore exploited on a daily and sometimes hourly basis.”
“There comes a point when the only thing to do is to stand up to this behaviour, because it destroys people and destroys lives. Put simply, it is bullying, which scares and silences people. We all know this isn’t acceptable, at any level. We won’t and can’t believe in a world where there is no accountability for this.”
In the footnotes of the statement, it says that the Duchess of Sussex is specifically filing a claim against British tabloid Mail on Sunday, as well as the parent company Associated Newspapers.
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The claim filed against the brand claims a misuse of private information, infringement of copyright and breach of the Data Protection Act 2018.
A spokesperson from Schillings, a U.K. law firm representing Markle, said in a statement:
“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.”
It continues: “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.”
“The proceedings in the Chancery Division of the High Court relate to the unlawful publication of a private letter,” the website reads.
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The private letter it refers to is one Markle reportedly wrote her father, Thomas Markle, prior to her royal wedding last year.
The case, the website states, is being privately funded by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Proceeds from any damages will be donated to an anti-bullying charity.
The new mom has been a target of British tabloids ever since she was officially linked to Prince Harry in 2016. This isn’t the first time the duke has had to release a formal statement regarding her treatment by the media.
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Back in November 2016, a formal statement was released by his communication secretary, which notes the “significant curiosity about his private life.”
“The past week has seen a line crossed. His girlfriend, Meghan Markle, has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment,” it reads. “Some of this has been very public — the smear on the front page of a national newspaper; the racial undertones of comment pieces; and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments.”
“He has asked for this statement to be issued in the hopes that those in the press who have been driving this story can pause and reflect before any further damage is done,” it finished.
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The two are moving into their last day of the royal tour on Oct. 2, which will see them reunite in a township near Johannesburg where they’ll meet with young entrepreneurs who are tackling unemployment challenges in South Africa.
They’ll also meet with Graça Machel, the widow of President Mandela, as well as attend a reception later on that evening.
Before flying home to London that night, they’ll attend an audience with President Cyril Ramaphosa and his wife, Dr. Tshepo Motsepe.