Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are speaking out after a private investigator revealed how a UK tabloid hired him to improperly obtain personal information about the duchess and her family. 

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According to an exclusive report from Byline Investigates, The Sun tasked Dan Hanks, a Los Angeles-based PI, with carrying out the investigation.

Harry and Meghan have said that the report proves the “predatory practices” of the British media are still as prevalent as ever. 

Some of the personal information collected during the investigation included Meghan’s social security number and her private phone number.

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Hanks claims to have obtained the private details using illegal methods. 

Hanks also targeted Meghan’s father, Thomas Markle, her half-brother, also called Thomas Markle, and her mother, Doria Ragland.

The pursuing tabloid frenzy ultimately led to a long-lasting rift between Meghan and her dad.

Issuing a public apology to Meghan and Harry, Hanks said, “I’m sorry to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry for targeting her family, particularly her dad, on behalf of The Sun. I never wanted to cause Meghan Markle harm, and wouldn’t have done the job if I’d have known it would lead to all these problems.”

Extending the apology to the head of the monarchy, he continued, “I also wanted to take this opportunity to apologise to The Queen, because I realize the harm of what I did for The Sun has affected the whole family.”

According to Byline Investigates, “The Sun has denied knowing they were commissioning unlawful activity, and deny knowingly using the fruits of the scam.”

Responding to reports, a spokesperson for Meghan and Harry said, “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex feel that today is an important moment of reflection for the media industry and society at large, as this investigative report shows that the predatory practices of days past are still ongoing, reaping irreversible damage for families and relationships.”

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Adding, “They are grateful to those working in media who stand for upholding the values of journalism, which are needed now more than ever before.”