Earlier this month, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced that they were suing British tabloids for spreading “relentless propaganda.” At the center of this lawsuit is a private letter that Meghan’s lawyers claim Mail on Sunday published that included “her intimate thoughts and feelings about her father’s health and her relationship with him at that time.”
Her lawyers claim that the Mail article titled “Revealed: The letter showing true tragedy of Meghan’s rift with a father she says has ‘broken her heart into a million pieces’” omitted parts of the letter, which “intentionally distorted or manipulated” its meaning. The Duchess of Sussex was also not given a warning by the publisher that the letter, written during “time of great personal anguish and distress,” would be made public.
Court documents obtained by the U.K.’s Press Association show Meghan is seeking damages from Associated Newspapers Ltd., Mail on Sunday and MailOnline’s publisher, for alleged misuse of private information, copyright infringement, and breach of the Data Protection Act. The publisher denies all allegations.
This isn’t the first time members of the royal family have taken legal action against the press. In 2012, Prince William and Kate Middleton sued a French magazine for publishing topless photos of Kate sunbathing. The Queen has sued The Sun for breach of copyright. And Princess Diana took legal action against The Daily Mirror in 1993 after they published photos of her exercising in a gym.
The letter was sent to Thomas Markle in August 2018 and published in February in the Mail on Sunday and on MailOnline. Initially, he “vowed” to keep the letter private. But he ultimately leaked it after a People story claimed Meghan tried to make amends with him and he felt he “had to defend myself.”
Meghan recently opened up about the struggles of being a new mother under such intense media scrutiny. Holding back tears, she called it “really challenging.”
“Not many people have asked if I'm okay, but it's a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes," she told reporter Tom Bradby in an interview from British television channel ITV's documentary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey.