12:54pm PT by Ashley Cullins
Meghan Markle Sues British Tabloid Over Publication of Private Letter
Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, and her husband Prince Harry are tired of lies being printed about them in British tabloids, so the royal couple is taking Associated Newspapers to court.
Markle is suing the company over the Mail on Sunday's alleged unlawful publication of a private letter she wrote, according to an announcement on the couple's official website. Her claims include misuse of private information, infringement of copyright and breach of the Data Protection Act 2018. She alleges that the publication used her letter as part of its campaign to publish false and derogatory stories about her and her husband. The couple is personally funding the litigation and has promised to donate any damages to an anti-bullying charity.
Along with the announcement, Prince Harry has issued a lengthy statement on their website about the reasons behind the litigation.
"As a couple, we believe in media freedom and objective, truthful reporting. We regard it as a cornerstone of democracy and in the current state of the world — on every level — we have never needed responsible media more," he writes. "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."
Prince Harry continues that he has seen his wife suffer for too long and the decision to pursue legal action was "many months in the making."
"This particular legal action hinges on one incident in a long and disturbing pattern of behaviour by British tabloid media," he writes. "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. 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 his statement, Prince Harry describes the behavior as bullying and says it's time for the tabloid to be held accountable.
"Though this action may not be the safe one, it is the right one," he writes. "Because my deepest fear is history repeating itself. 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."
Read the full statement here.