The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are taking legal action against a British news organization over stories published about them over the past year. Prince Harry released a statement Tuesday on behalf of the couple announcing their intention to sue the Associated Newspapers (owner of the Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday) for what they allege is “a campaign by this media group to publish false and deliberately derogatory stories.”
In the statement, Harry lays out the personal toll reading the tabloids has had on himself and Meghan. He alleges that the organization has been publishing lies about the royal couple for over a year—throughout Meghan’s pregnancy and the birth of Archie.
“There is a human cost to this relentless propaganda, specifically when it is knowingly false and malicious,” Harry writes. “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.”
— Peter Hunt (@_PeterHunt) October 1, 2019
Harry also reminds the public that this kind of intrusive media coverage is not new to him—he witnessed first-hand the effect of relentless tabloid reporting on his mother, Princess Diana, widely understood as a contributing factor in her untimely death.
“My deepest fear is history repeating itself,” Harry writes. “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.” He concludes by thanking the public for their support.
He also called out the hypocrisy obvious in the same publication’s positive tone during his and Meghan’s current royal tour, while they have “vilified her almost daily for the past nine months. 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.”
The lawsuit hinges on a letter written by Duchess Meghan to her estranged father Thomas Markle which was obtained and published by The Mail on Sunday in February. The outlet reported at the time that Meghan wrote the letter shortly after her wedding (which her father was unable to attend). Harry says in his statement that the letter was published “unlawfully” and claims The Mail purposefully omitted “select paragraphs, specific sentences, and even singular words” to propagate lies about the couple.
It was reported shortly after publication that the Sussexes could be taking legal action against the organization, but The Mail on Sunday stood by its reporting (which remains online as of the writing of this article).
The royals shared that they will be privately funding the lawsuit and donate any proceeds resulting from it to an anti-bullying charity.