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Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan Are Suing the Daily Mail's Publisher

Harper's Bazaar logo Harper's Bazaar 10/2/2019 Erica Gonzales
Meghan Markle, Prince Harry are posing for a picture: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are suing the Mail on Sunday over "the misuse of private information." Read his full statement here. © Pool/Samir Hussein - Getty Images Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are suing the Mail on Sunday over "the misuse of private information." Read his full statement here.
  • Prince Harry announced today that he and his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, have filed legal proceedings against the Mail on Sunday and its parent company after the outlet published a letter written by the duchess.
  • The Duke of Sussex called out British tabloid media, saying outlets "vilified [Meghan] almost daily for the past nine months," while she was away on maternity leave.
  • He added a nod to his mother, Princess Diana, saying, "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."

Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan are taking a stand against British tabloid media. In a powerful statement, the Duke of Sussex announced today that the couple is suing the Mail on Sunday and its parent company, Associated Newspapers, for publishing a private letter written by the duchess. The duke claimed the letter was published "in an intentionally destructive manner" to manipulate readers, and added that parts of the letter were omitted when it was "unlawfully" published to "mask the lies" the outlet had "perpetuated for over a year."

In his statement, published today on his and Meghan's official website, the duke said members of the British media have "vilified" his wife "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." He clarified, "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."

Prince Harry et al. posing for the camera: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex in Cape Town, South Africa on September 23. © Chris Jackson - Getty Images The Duke and Duchess of Sussex in Cape Town, South Africa on September 23.

Harry compared the "campaigns against" Meghan in the press to the mania surrounding his mother, Princess Diana, who died in a car crash while reportedly evading paparazzi in 1997. "Though this action may not be the safe one, it is the right one. Because my deepest fear is history repeating itself," he explained in the statement. "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."

The legal proceedings are being privately funded by the duke and duchess, and any proceeds from any damages will be donated to an anti-bullying charity, the statements says.

BAZAAR.com understands this is private legal action, with the timing of the statement's release relating to legal advice the couple received. It has nothing to do with the duke and duchess's current royal tour of southern Africa.

A spokeswoman for Schillings, the law firm representing the duke and duchess, tells BAZAAR, "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."

This is not the first time Harry has stood up for Meghan against the tabloids. Back in 2016, when he and the now-duchess were still dating, he issued a statement through Kensington Palace denouncing the "racial undertones of comment pieces" and "outright sexism and racism of social-media trolls" targeted at Meghan in the media.

Read the Duke of Sussex's full statement here.

Update:

The Mail on Sunday has responded to the Duke and Duchess's lawsuit with a statement saying: "The Mail on Sunday stands by the story it published and will be defending this case vigorously. Specifically, we categorically deny that the Duchess’s letter was edited in any way that changed its meaning."

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