According to a press release issued on Thursday, October 6, the Duke of Sussex, 38, is joining Elizabeth Hurley, Sir Elton John and his husband, David Furnish, and more in launching the legal action. The group has accused Associated Newspapers, the publishers of the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and Mail Online, of invading privacy.
“These individuals have become aware of compelling and highly distressing evidence that they have been the victims of abhorrent criminal activity and gross breaches of privacy by Associated Newspapers,” the release states.
The company has allegedly hired private investigators “to secretly place listening devices inside people’s cars and homes,” paid off “corrupt” police officers for inside scoops and personal information, impersonated others to gain access to medical records and used “manipulation” to view financial histories, among other accusations.
Harry and his colleagues claimed that the actions listed were only “the tip of the iceberg” when it comes to the business’ “reprehensible” and “illicit” behavior. According to the release, the legal steps were taken in hopes of “uncover[ing] the truth” and holding the publishers “fully accountable” for their alleged wrongdoing.
“These individuals have been the subject of public interest during the course of their careers and personal lives,” the statement continues. “They are united in their desire to live in a world where the press operates freely, yet responsibly. A press that represents truth, is sourced in fact and can be trusted to operate ethically and in the interests of the British people.”
Over the years, the prince has been an outspoken critic of the British tabloids and has been especially vocal when it comes to the treatment of his wife, Meghan Markle. In October 2019, Harry issued a lengthy statement comparing the Suits alum’s “private suffering” to the intense scrutiny his late mother, Princess Diana, experienced before her 1997 death.
“My deepest fear is history repeating itself,” he wrote. “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.”
At the time, a source exclusively told Us Weekly that the former military pilot was “worried that the recent escalation of press intrusion has an impact on his relationship with Meghan, as well as their relationship with the royal family and the public.” The pair weren’t bothered by “one negative story or incident” but an “accumulation,” the insider added.
The royal couple went on to announce in January 2020 that they planned to step back from their senior duties, and they relocated to California later that year. Buckingham Palace confirmed in February 2021 that Harry and Meghan would not return as senior working royals.
One month later, the Archewell cofounders shared more of their story during a CBS tell-all interview. In an unaired clip, Meghan claimed that she felt abandoned by palace officials when it came to the British media’s harassment.
“If members of his family say, ‘Well, this is what happened to all of us’ … This is not the same,” she argued. “Rude and racist are not the same. And equally, you’ve also had a press team that goes on the record to defend you, especially when they know some things are not true. And that didn’t happen for us.”