TORONTO — Meghan, Duchess of Sussex has launched legal proceedings against a British newspaper group alleging a breach of privacy.
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Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, issued an official statement on Monday, Oct. 1, bemoaning the treatment of his family by the tabloid press.
The legal action hinges on the publication of a “private letter” between Meghan and her father Thomas Markle by the Mail on Sunday in February.
“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,” the Duke claims in an official statement.
“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.”
The sixth-in-line to the throne went on to complain that his wife has been “vilified almost daily for the past nine months” and called the reporting “bullying.”
“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 wrote in the statement.
“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.”
Later in the statement Harry compared his wife’s treatment to that of his late mother, Princess Diana.
“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,” he wrote.
“I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces.”
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The statement confirms that the Duchess of Sussex has filed a claim against Daily Mail-publisher Associated Newspapers over the misuse of private information, infringement of copyright and breach of the Data Protection Act 2018.
The proceedings will take place in the U.K.’s High Court and Meghan will be represented by legal firm Schillings.
The case is being privately funded by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, the statement read, and proceeds from any damages will be donated to an anti-bullying charity.
British broadcaster Piers Morgan, a vocal critic of some of the couple’s behaviour, called the move by the royals an attempt to bully the press “into fawning sycophancy.”
“I’ve never read a more savage attack on the press than this one by Harry/Meghan,” Morgan wrote on Twitter.
“Nor a more disingenuous one. They’ve had the praise and criticism their behaviour has warranted.
“They talk of bullying but this is their attempt to bully the press into fawning sycophancy.”
The newspaper has stood by its decision to publish photos of the letter, which remain available on MailOnline.
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