The British prince Harry and his wife Meghan sue the British gossip magazine ‘Mail on Sunday’, following the publication of a letter that Meghan allegedly wrote to her father. In a statement, Harry points to the similarities between the way the press bullies both his mother and Meghan.
The Mail on Sunday and parent company Associated Newspapers are being charged with the misuse of private information, copyright infringement, and data protection law. This is apparent from the court documents.
In a statement, Prince Harry refers to the death of his mother and stresses his fear that history will repeat itself when he sees his “wife fall prey to the same strong forces”. Harry also writes: “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.”
“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.
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. Because in today’s digital age, press fabrications are repurposed as truth across the globe. One day’s coverage is no longer tomorrow’s chip-paper.
This particular legal action hinges on one incident in a long and disturbing pattern of behaviour 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. 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.
There comes a point when the only thing to do is to stand up to this behaviour, 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 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 and Meghan have not been able to correct the persistent misrepresentations, and Harry criticizes “certain media” for the misuse of them. “This is a game for these particular media, one that we refused to play from the start. I have been a silent witness to her private suffering for too long.” Taking some distance and doing nothing would be at odds with everything we believe in, “the prince said in the message.”
The Mail on Sunday had published a handwritten letter in February. According to the tabloid, this was by Meghan and was intended for her father Thomas Markle, from whom she has been estranged for years.
Harry, Meghan and their almost five-month-old son Archie are currently in South Africa, where they make a ten-day tour. Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, died in a car accident in 1997 when paparazzi chased her.