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Mail on Sunday to 'vigorously' defend legal action launched by Meghan Markle over private letter

Prince Harry criticised the British tabloid media yesterday, setting out his fears for his wife following a “relentless” campaign against her.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex during a visit to Tembisa township near Johannesburg on the last day day of their tour in Africa.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex during a visit to Tembisa township near Johannesburg on the last day day of their tour in Africa.
Image: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/PA Images

THE MAIL ON Sunday newspaper has said it plans to “vigorously” defend the legal action taken against it by Meghan Markle over an allegation it unlawfully published one of her private letters to her father.

Law firm Schillings, representing the Duchess of Sussex, said she had filed a High Court claim against the paper and its parent company Associated Newspapers over the alleged misuse of private information, infringement of copyright and breach of the Data Protection Act 2018.

A spokeswoman for the firm claimed the “intrusive” publication of the letter was part of the media group’s campaign to write “false and deliberately derogatory stories about her, as well as her husband”.

In a lengthy and highly personal statement published on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s official website yesterday, Harry said the royal couple had been driven to take legal action after “painful” impact of “relentless propaganda” against his wife from the British tabloid press.

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.
 “I lost my mother”

In yesterday’s statement, Harry said he and Meghan believed in “media freedom and objective, truthful reporting” as a “cornerstone of democracy”. 

Referencing press coverage of his mother Princess Diana, the duke said 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.

“I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces.”

Addressing readers, he added:

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.

royal-visit-to-africa-day-three The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with their son Archie Source: PA Wire/PA Images

In February, the Mail on Sunday published extracts of Meghan’s handwritten letter to her estranged father Thomas Markle.

A spokeswoman for law firm Schillings claimed the “intrusive” publication of the letter was part of Associated Newspaper’s campaign to write “false and deliberately derogatory stories about” Meghan, “as well as her husband”.

Harry explained that the alleged unlawful publication of the private letter was done in “an intentionally destructive manner” to “manipulate” readers.

He claimed readers were misled by “strategically omitting select paragraphs, specific sentences, and even singular words to mask the lies they had perpetuated for over a year”.

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