We’ve all been seeing it for months: No matter what Meghan Markle does, various UK outlets will find a way to criticize her for it, calling it a breach of royal protocol, or a sure sign of malicious ulterior motives. On Tuesday, Prince Harry slammed the British press for “bullying” Meghan in a statement, in which he outlined the emotional impact of the harassment, as well as the legal action he and Meghan are taking. On Friday, new details were released regarding the lawsuits — and the Sussex royals are claiming their voicemails have been hacked.
The Guardian reports that Harry and Meghan have now started legal proceedings against the Sun and the Daily Mirror, this time alleging that the outlets had hacked their phones. Both News Group (which publishes the Sun) and Buckingham Palace have confirmed that claims have been filed regarding this issue. The filings were apparently submitted before the royals’ legal action against the Mail on Sunday, over the publication of letters she wrote to her father.
Harry’s statement announcing these proceedings revealed a new side to the Sussex couple, as he admitted how deeply the media’s lies and digs have affected Meghan and their family. It began with the assurance that he and Meghan wholeheartedly support the freedom of the press — their intent is never to silence or prevent the publication of “objective, truthful reporting,” but to point out that many British outlets are doing just the opposite. “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,” the Duke of Sussex wrote, “a ruthless campaign that has escalated over the past year, throughout her pregnancy and while raising our newborn son.”
"I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces"
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) October 1, 2019
Harry explained that he and Meghan will be suing the Mail on Sunday (and parent company Associated Newspapers) over their publication of a letter between Meghan and her father, a piece of private correspondence unlawfully made public. Harry also contended that the letter was severely altered: “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,” he wrote. “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.”
He made it plain that he and Meghan have had enough. “There comes a point when the only thing to do is to stand up to this behaviour, because it destroys people and destroys lives,” he added. “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.”
Harry ended his statement on a highly emotional note. To explain why he has chosen to pursue legal action now, he said this: “My deepest fear is history repeating itself. I’ve seen what happens when someone I love is commoditized 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.” After Princess Diana’s years of being harassed by media and paparazzi, it must be unspeakably painful for Harry to watch his wife go through the same thing, and we couldn’t support him more in going after the outlets that attack her. This latest statement is unlikely to change the opinion of the Sussex’s critics, sadly — but those who can open their minds to understanding Meghan and Harry’s position will surely be moved by the Duke’s earnest call for compassion.