Prince Harry withdraws defamation claim against Mail on Sunday publisher

Prince Harry withdraws defamation claim against Mail on Sunday publisher

Barely a month after winning a historic phone-hacking case against a British publisher, Prince Harry on Friday withdrew an unrelated defamation suit against the publisher of another tabloid paper, The Mail on Sunday.

The Daily Mail, a sister newspaper of The Mail on Sunday, has reported that lawyers for Duke Harry of Sussex have rejected his claim that he… insulted in an article About his security arrangements after he and his wife Meghan separated from the British royal family and moved to the United States in 2020.

The newspaper said the decision to drop the case would require Harry to pay 250,000 pounds, or $316,000, in legal costs incurred by Associated Newspapers, which publishes The Mail on Sunday and The Daily Mail.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Harry said that following an adverse ruling last month on his motion to dismiss part of the defense’s case, the Duke had decided to focus on the safety of his family, “in “Rather than legal proceedings that offer a way out.” “Continued to be the platform for the Mail’s false claims all those years ago.”

The spokesperson said that legal costs in the case had yet to be calculated, and that “it was too early to speculate” on Harry’s liability.

Although it is a setback, Friday’s decision to drop the suit serves primarily to dramatize just how much litigation the younger son of King Charles III is embroiled in. Harry continues to prosecute legal challenge Against the UK Home Office for reducing their publicly funded police protection after he and Meghan stopped “working in the royal family”.

He is still suing Associated Newspapers as well as News Group Newspapers, publisher of The Sun, alleging they hacked his cellphone and otherwise violated his privacy. These are similar to the charges Harry won against The Mirror last month, when a judge found that Harry and others were victims of “widespread and habitual” hacking.

The case against The Mail turned on a narrow issue: whether the newspaper had defamed him by claiming that he had misled the public in a dispute over whether he and his family would still receive publicly funded police protection. ?

Harry’s lawyers argued that the article published on February 19, 2022, erroneously claimed that the duke would not offer to pay for security out of his own pocket unless he filed a lawsuit against the Home Office over reducing his security. Did. He first offered it, he said, in January 2020 at a meeting with senior members of the family at Sandringham, Queen Elizabeth II’s residence.

Harry’s lawyers also argued that the Mail article described the duke as mobilizing a “PR machine”, which they said was designed to “manipulate and mislead public opinion in an unfair and scandalous way” about the security controversy. Tried to do”.

But in a ruling on 8 December, Justice Matthew Nicklin said The Mail’s lawyers had a real chance to prove that the article reflected “honest opinion” rather than being defamatory. “The defendant may well say that this was a master class in the art of ‘spinning,'” the judge wrote.

Of the many long-term effects of Harry’s bitter break with the royal family, his security position was the most stubborn, and generated the most litigation. Last May, a court had rejected his plea to privately pay for security from the Metropolitan Police when he and his family visit Britain. Home Office lawyers argued that it was, in fact, inappropriate to employ police officers as private security guards.

Harry is still awaiting a decision on whether the Home Office – through its executive committee for the protection of royalty and public figures, known as Revec – will take over his police protection after he ceases to be a working royal. Deserved to reduce.

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