Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have taken legal action against the Mail on Sunday and its parent company, Associated Newspapers, after the British tabloid allegedly published a private letter that Meghan had written.
Prince Harry announced the lawsuit Tuesday with an emotional statement, describing how his wife has become one of the latest victims of an escalating and "ruthless" British tabloid campaign that gives "no thought to the consequences."
"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," Harry said in his statement.
The Duke of Sussex compared how Meghan has been treated over the years to how the tabloids treated his mother, Princess Diana. She died in 1997 when her car crashed while being chased by paparazzi.
"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," Harry's statement said.
The statement does not identify the letter in question, but according to multiple reports, it was a private letter that Meghan sent to her estranged father. The Duke wrote that this particular legal action "hinges on one incident in a long and disturbing pattern of behaviour by British tabloid media."
Prince Harry added that he has "been a silent witness" to Meghan's "private suffering for too long. To stand back and do nothing would be contrary to everything we believe in."
A spokesperson for the law firm representing the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said the "unlawful publication" of the letter was "part of a campaign by this media group to publish false and deliberately derogatory stories" about Meghan and Harry.
The case is being privately funded by the couple and any damages they receive from a court ruling will be donated to an anti-bullying charity, according to the law firm's statement.
The announcement comes as Prince Harry and Meghan wrap up a 10-day tour of Africa.