“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,” Harry said in a Tuesday statement carried on the aristocrat’s website.
“We have initiated legal proceedings against the Mail on Sunday, and its parent company Associated Newspapers, over the intrusive and unlawful publication of a private letter written by the Duchess of Sussex, which is part of a campaign by this media group to publish false and deliberately derogatory stories about her, as well as her husband,” a spokesperson from Schillings, Markle’s legal representatives, said in a statement accompanying the duke’s announcement.
“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,” the counsel’s statement continues.
The letter in question was, according to the prince, “published unlawfully in an intentionally destructive manner” by the Daily Mail in February “to manipulate you, the reader, and further the divisive agenda of the media group in question.” Written by Meghan to her estranged father, Thomas Markle, the letter implores him to cease his attacks on her family.
The Daily Mail only published portions of the “bombshell” letter, which dates to August 2018, about three months after Meghan and Harry tied the knot.
“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,” the prince’s statement continues. “Up to now, we have been unable to correct the continual misrepresentations - something that these select media outlets have been aware of and have therefore exploited on a daily and sometimes hourly basis. It is for this reason we are taking legal action, a process that has been many months in the making.”
Harry didn’t pull his punches, though: he drew direct comparison to his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, with whom the press had such an obsession that her 1997 car crash death in Paris was immediately swamped by paparazzi taking photographs.
“My deepest fear is history repeating itself,” Harry wrote. “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.”