The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are hitting back at the tabloids for publishing “false and deliberately derogatory stories” about them.
In an official statement from Markle, her husband Prince Harry and their lawyer from Schillings, they wrote, “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.”
On the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s official website, Harry spoke out for his wife, who is currently on a solo tour of Johannesburg, South Africa, defending her against the “ruthless” smear campaign.
“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,” Harry wrote. “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.”
“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,” he continued.
Harry later called the attempts by the media “bullying.”
“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,” he wrote. “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.”
He adds, “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.”
Read the entire statement here.
Following the launch of the lawsuit, a spokesperson for The Mail issued the following statement to ET: “The Mail on Sunday stands by the story it published and will be defending this case vigorously. Specifically, we categorically deny that the Duchess’ letter was edited in any way that changed its meaning.”