The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have filed a lawsuit against the Mail on Sunday as they launched a blistering attack on the press over its “ruthless campaign” against them.
In a statement posted to the couple’s website, Prince Harry said they were suing the newspaper over alleged misuse of private information, copyright infringement and breach of data protection laws. In an unprecedented salvo against Fleet Street, the Duke accused the media of publishing “relentless propaganda”, adding that the family had been unable to take action against much of the coverage. But in an emotional defence of his wife, Prince Harry said he was no longer able to be a “silent witness to her private suffering”.
The lawsuit, which has been filed against the Mail on Sunday and parent company Associated Newspapers, relates to the publication of Markle’s private letter to her father. A spokesperson for law firm Schillings, which is representing the Duchess, said the publication of Markle’s letter was “part of a campaign by this media group to publish false and deliberately derogatory stories about her, as well as her husband”. “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 spokesperson added.
Insisting that the couple believed in “media freedom and objective, truthful reporting”, Prince Harry launched an unprecedented attack on the press for waging “campaigns against individuals with no thought to the consequences”. The Duke also made reference to Princess Diana, saying his “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,” he wrote. “I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces.”
A Mail on Sunday spokesman said: “The Mail on Sunday stands by the story it published and will be defending this case vigorously. “Specifically, we categorically deny that the Duchess’s letter was edited in any way that changed its meaning.”