Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, has taken legal action against British tabloid Mail on Sunday and its parent company, Associated Newspapers, accusing the paper of publishing “false” and “derogatory stories” about her.
The legal action came after the tabloid published a private, handwritten letter Markle wrote to her estranged father, The Guardian reported Tuesday.
Law firm Schillings is representing the former Suits actress. The lawsuit alleges “the misuse of private information, infringement of copyright and breach of the Data Protection Act 2018.” Schillings additionally alleged in a statement that the paper continues to “publish false and deliberately derogatory stories” about Markle and Prince Harry.
Harry released a statement Tuesday on the couple’s official website explaining the decision to file suit.
“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,” the statement said.
“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,” the statement continued.
Prince Harry mentioned his late mother, Princess Diana, who died in a car crash in 1997, while fleeing the paparazzi.
“Though this action may not be the safe one, it is the right one. Because my deepest fear is history repeating itself,” his statement said. “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.”
A Mail on Sunday spokesman defended the story, and told The Guardian there was no truth to claims that the letter had been edited.
“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,” the spokesman said.
The royal couple’s legal action is being funded privately and any proceeds will be donated to an anti-bullying charity.
The pair is nearing the end of a ten day royal tour of Africa with their son Archie.