The logic behind the lawsuit by Prince Harry and his wife, former actress Meghan Markle, against the British tabloid Daily Mail is simple, yet brutal.
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The youngest son of Princess Diana, who died in a car crash while fleeing paparazzi 22 years ago, Prince Harry sees echoes of her struggle with relentless coverage in the news media's treatment of Meghan, who became Duchess of Sussex upon her marriage in 2018. The couple had their first child, Archie, in May.
She 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 prince, who also holds the title Duke of Sussex, said in a statement explaining the lawsuit over a letter from Meghan to her father that the Mail published in February.
The missive, which the prince says was private, discusses a rift between the parent and child during and after her wedding. Thomas Markle didn't attend the ceremony but has granted repeated interviews about his relationship with his daughter, an American actress who appeared in movies including "Horrible Bosses" and television shows such as "Suits."
The Daily Mail published the contents of the letter "in an intentionally destructive manner," the prince wrote.
"There comes a point when the only thing to do is to stand up to this behavior because it destroys people and destroys lives," he added. "My deepest fear is history repeating itself. 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."
Princess Diana, who relinquished the title Her Royal Highness when she divorced Harry's father, Prince Charles, died in September 1997 along with her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed. The couple's romance, along with Diana's rocky relationship with British royals, had been chronicled extensively in the global press since her 1981 marriage in Westminster Abbey.
Schillings, the British law firm handling the lawsuit in the Chancery Division of the High Court, said it claims misuse of private information, infringement of copyright and violation of the Data Protection Act of 2018.
The couple is paying for the legal action privately, and any proceeds will be donated to an anti-bullying charity.