Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, has filed a legal complaint against the Mail on Sunday and its publisher, Associated Newspapers, for their “false” and “deliberately derogative” coverage of his wife Meghan Markle.
“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,” Harry said in a blistering statement released Tuesday that directly referenced the memory of his late mother, Princess Diana.
“My deepest fear is history repeating itself,” he said. “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 complaint specifically relates to the Mail on Sunday’s publication of a letter from Meghan to her father in February, but Harry emphasized in his statement that this story was “one incident in a long and disturbing pattern of behavior 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,” he said.
“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.”
In a statement to BuzzFeed News, a Mail on Sunday spokesperson said that the newspaper stands by the story it published and they “will be defending this case vigorously.”
“Specifically, we categorically deny that the Duchess’s letter was edited in any way that changed its meaning.”
In a separate statement, the royal couple’s lawyers said that they have charged the Mail on Sunday and its publishers, Associated Newspapers (which is now called DMG Media), with misuse of private information, infringement of copyright, and breach of the Data Protection Act 2018.
DMG Media also owns the Daily Mail newspaper and Mail Online website.
A spokesperson for Schillings, the firm that is representing the Sussexes, described the “intrusive and unlawful” publication of Meghan’s letter to her father as “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.”
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