Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex and wife of Britain’s Prince Harry, has announced legal action against the publisher of the Mail on Sunday for publishing a handwritten letter she had written to her estranged father.
Prince Harry announced the unusual decision Tuesday in an emotional release in which he bemoaned what he called a “ruthless campaign” that had escalated over the past year throughout Meghan’s pregnancy and “while raising our newborn son.”
“There is a human cost to this relentless propaganda, specifically when it is knowingly false and malicious, and though we have continued to put on a brave face – as so many of you can relate to – I cannot begin to describe how painful it has been,” Prince Harry said.
Meghan has been a constant target of the British tabloid’s vitriolic racist and inaccurate reportage and Prince Harry feared history would repeat itself if they watched unconcerned – invoking the grisly reportage his mother Princess Diana suffered in the hands of the tabloid press and paparazzi.
“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.
“It is for this reason we are taking legal action, a process that has been many months in the making. The positive coverage of the past week from these same publications exposes the double standards of this specific press pack that has vilified her almost daily for the past nine months; they have been able to create lie after lie at her expense simply because she has not been visible while on maternity leave.
“She is the same woman she was a year ago on our wedding day, just as she is the same woman you’ve seen on this Africa tour,” Princes Harry said in the lengthy release.
At the heart of the suit is the publication by the Mail on Sunday of a handwritten letter Meghan sent to her estranged father, Thomas Markle, in August 2018—a few months after her wedding to Harry in May 2018.
Markle did not attend the wedding, pulling out the last minute amid a paparazzi scandal that also involved the Mail on Sunday.
According to Prince Harry, the contents of the “private letter” were published unlawfully in an intentionally destructive manner to manipulate the reader, and further the divisive agenda of the media group in question.
He said the time had come to stand up to “this behavior 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.”
“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 commoditized 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,” he added.
Meanwhile, as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have begun the final day of their overseas tour, the BBC reports that the Mail on Sunday has vowed to “vigorously” defend itself in a court case launched by the couple.
A Mail on Sunday spokesman said the paper stood by the story it published.
The law firm Schillings, acting for the duchess, had already filed a High Court claim against the paper and its parent company – Associated Newspapers.
This is over the alleged misuse of private information, infringement of copyright and breach of the Data Protection Act 2018.