Meghan Markle sues media as Prince Harry likens her treatment to that of Princess Diana

As Meghan Markle sues 'Mail on Sunday', Prince Harry expresses his 'deepest fear is history repeating itself' speaking about the treatment of Princess Diana by the press


Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, has taken the decision to sue the publisher of the Mail on Sunday after the newspaper published a handwritten letter she sent to her estranged father.

The decision came as Prince Harry  issued a statement criticising the British tabloid media. He cited a “relentless” campaign against his wife by some sections of the press and said he could no longer be a “silent witness to her private suffering”.

Though he emphasised his respect for the importance of “objective, truthful reporting”, he accused parts of the media of “waging campaigns against individuals with no thought to the consequences”. He also compared the treatment of Meghan to coverage of his mother.

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In personal statement published on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s official website, Harry referred to the treatment of Princess Diana, saying his “deepest fear is history repeating itself”.

Mail on Sunday

The legal proceedings against the Mail on Sunday publishers are funded by Harry and Meghan. Depending on the court ruling, proceeds from any damages will be donated to an anti-bullying charity.

Law firm Schillings, representing the duchess, said she filed a High Court claim against the paper and its parent company Associated Newspapers over the alleged misuse of private information, infringement of copyright and breach of the Data Protection Act 2018.

Related: Baby Archie makes debut

A spokeswoman for the firm claimed the “intrusive” publication of the letter was part of the media group’s campaign to write “false and deliberately derogatory stories about her, as well as her husband”.

In his statement, Harry said he and Meghan believed in “media freedom and objective, truthful reporting” as a “cornerstone of democracy”.

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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.”

“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.

“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.”

Royal tour

Harry said the couple, who are on a royal tour of Africa, had been unable to correct “continual misrepresentations” in the press.

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He said “positive” coverage of the tour exposed “the double standards of this specific press pack that has vilified her almost daily for the past nine months; they have been able to create lie after lie at her expense simply because she has not been visible while on maternity leave.

“She is the same woman she was a year ago on our wedding day, just as she is the same woman you’ve seen on this Africa tour.”

He explained the alleged unlawful publication of the private letter was done in “an intentionally destructive manner” to “manipulate” readers.

“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.”

This is that statement, in full: 

“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.

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“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.

“It is for this reason we are taking legal action, a process that has been many months in the making. The positive coverage of the past week from these same publications exposes the double standards of this specific press pack that has vilified her almost daily for the past nine months; they have been able to create lie after lie at her expense simply because she has not been visible while on maternity leave. She is the same woman she was a year ago on our wedding day, just as she is the same woman you’ve seen on this Africa tour.

“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.

“We thank you, the public, for your continued support. It is hugely appreciated. Although it may not seem like it, we really need it.”

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View this post on Instagram

 

Following our tradition of rotating the accounts we follow on a monthly basis, for the month of October we are celebrating “community.” • Over the last week on their official tour to Southern Africa, The Duke and Duchess have had a poignant reminder of the importance of community - the sense of support and togetherness that is felt from feeling like you are a part of something that respects difference but also celebrates shared values for the greater good. Please let us know the favourite organisation in your community - one you enjoy volunteering for, or that makes you proud to be a part of - one that supports you personally in your everyday life, and that defines what you feel community is all about. Based on your suggestions we will then choose our new accounts to follow for October. Thanks so much and thanks for being a part of the Sussex community! Photo ©? High Commission

A post shared by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (@sussexroyal) on


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