Duchess Meghan has a tendency to catch a whole lot of shit in the British press, and Prince Harry is sick and tired of it. So much so, that he recently released an official House of Sussex statement letting everyone know that he’s prepared to sue. And to show you they’re not bluffing, Duchess Meghan went ahead and filed that lawsuit against the Mail on Sunday.
Harry’s letter was posted to the official Sussex website, and it was titled simply Statement by His Royal Highness Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex. Harry explains that he and Meghan value media freedom and objective reporting, but that the recent reporting on Meghan isn’t cool. Harry doesn’t love that the British press are treating his wife like she’s a stale pack of Pop-Tarts that he brought back from a trip to the states two years ago and refuses to throw out. Meghan has made it known that she’s a little tired of being treated as that woman who married Harry, and now Harry has too. He writes:
“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.”
Harry continues that they can’t really fight back against any of the criticisms, probably because there aren’t enough hours in the day. But they think that by taking legal action, they can curb some of the crappy things that are said about them.
“Up to now, we have been unable to correct the continual misrepresentations – something that these select media outlets have been aware of and have therefore exploited on a daily and sometimes hourly basis.
For these select media this is a game, and one that we have been unwilling to play from the start. I have been a silent witness to her private suffering for too long. To stand back and do nothing would be contrary to everything we believe in.”
Which brings us to their lawsuit. It was rumored back in February that Duchess Meghan was thinking of suing the Mail on Sunday (aka The Daily Mail) for publishing a private letter written by herself to her mess of a father, Thomas Markle. The handwritten letter, dated three months after Meghan and Harry got married, claimed that Thomas was lying to the press, that he had broken her heart, and she begged him to stop being the ultimate of deadbeat dads. The Daily Mail hasn’t pulled the letter from their site. Harry claims that the Mail deliberately withheld certain parts of the letter to manipulate the tone, and that they published the letter illegally. He says they’re taking legal action and demanding accountability, because they don’t want to see Meghan hounded by the press like his mother, the late Princess Diana (which is the same reason Elton John claimed he loaned them one of his private jets).
“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.”
Meghan’s lawyer released the following statement regarding her lawsuit:
“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.”
Additionally, Harry and Meghan point out that they’re using their own money to fund their lawsuit, and that any damages they might be awarded will be donated to an anti-bullying charity.
If Duchess Meghan needs any advice and she can’t get her hands on a copy of What To Do When You Sue A Tabloid, she can always call up Duchess Kate. Kate sued Closer Magazine back in 2012 for publishing topless pictures of her on vacation. Meghan won’t have too many other resources at her disposal, because the royal family isn’t that litigious. Actually, I could see the British press leaning into that angle. Duchesses bonding over barristers! Except I’m sure The Daily Mail would spin it into a negative story about how Kate and Meghan aren’t speaking because they couldn’t stop fighting over whose hair was pretty enough to play Elle Woods in their lawsuit roleplay.