Duke and Duchess of Sussex to sue Mail on Sunday over private letter publication

1 October 2019, 20:41 | Updated: 1 October 2019, 21:00

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have launched legal proceedings
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have launched legal proceedings. Picture: DPPA/SIPA USA/PA Images

By Megan White

Prince Harry said he believed the Duchess of Sussex had been the victim of a “false and malicious” media campaign as he announced the couple are suing the Mail on Sunday.

In a strong statement, the Duke revealed that the Royals have launched legal proceedings against the newspaper for publishing a private letter sent by Meghan.

He also referenced Princess Diana, saying he had “seen what happens when someone I love is commoditised to the point that they are no longer treated or seen as a real person.”

The Duke of Sussex added: “I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces.”

The couple's law firm, Schillings, said they had initiated legal proceedings against the Sunday paper and its parent company Associated Newspapers over the "breach of privacy and infringement of copyright."

In the emotional statement, Prince Harry said: "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.

Meghan visited the University of Johannesburg today
Meghan visited the University of Johannesburg today. Picture: PA

"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."

The Duke said the lawsuit had been "months in the making," and that "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."

He continued: "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."

A legal spokesperson for Schillings said: “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.

“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.”

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