- Publish Date
- Wednesday, 2 October 2019, 9:44AM
Prince Harry has launched legal action against Mail on Sunday while hitting out at the "ruthless" British media in a powerful statement that references the death of his mother, Princess Diana, in 1997.
The Duke of Sussex announced they are suing the publication over claims it unlawfully published Meghan's private letter to her father, from whom she is estranged.
In the rare statement, Harry accused the media of waging a "relentless propaganda" campaign against his wife, saying he fears her treatment could mean she suffers the same fate as his late mother.
"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," the 35-year-old royal said.
"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 said while they had continued to "put on a brave face, I cannot begin to describe how painful it has been."
"I have been a silent witness to her private suffering for too long. To stand back and do nothing would be contrary to everything we believe in," he continued.
"There comes a point when the only thing to do is to stand up to this behaviour, because it destroys people and destroys lives.
"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."
In the final paragraph of his explosive statement, the Duke referenced Diana, who died in a car crash in Paris in 1997 while being chased by paparazzi.
"Though this action may not be the safe one, it is the right one," Harry wrote.
"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."
The legal action against Associated Newspapers, owner of the Mail on Sunday, is over the misuse of private information, infringement of copyright and breach of the Data Protection Act 2018.
The case is being privately funded by the Sussexes, with any potential proceeds from awarded damages being donated to an anti-bullying charity.