Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, sues U.K. tabloid over publishing private letter to estranged father

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(CBS News)–Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, has sued the publisher of a British tabloid newspaper, claiming that it illegally published a private letter she sent to her estranged father. Prince Harry said he and Meghan decided to take legal action against the Mail on Sunday newspaper due to what he called “relentless propaganda.”

The royal couple accused the tabloid and its parent company, Associated Newspapers, of misusing private information, infringement of copyright and breach of the Data Protection Act 2018, according to an official statement. The publisher also owns the Daily Mail newspaper and MailOnline.

“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 read. The statement called it just the latest incident in a “long and disturbing pattern of behaviour.”

Schillings, the law firm handling the case, said the Mail on Sunday is part of “a campaign by this media group to publish false and deliberately derogatory stories about [Meghan], as well as her husband.”

Prince Harry cited the “painful” impact of intrusive press coverage, which was the catalyst for them to take legal action. He also referred to his late mother, Princess Diana, who tragically died in a car crash in 1997 after being followed through the streets by paparazzi.

“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,” the statement said.

The case is being privately funded by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. The statement said any monetary damages resulting from the case would be donated to an anti-bullying charity.

Meghan and Prince Harry have been on tour in southern Africa — along with their newborn son, Archie.

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