Claims have officially been filed at the U.K. High Court alleging an illegal interception of voicemail messages.
The defendants formally listed in the lawsuit are News Group Newspapers Limited and Mirror Group Newspapers Limited.
A spokesperson for News Group Newspapers, the parent company for the Sun, has said: “We confirm that a claim has been issued by the Duke of Sussex. We have no further comment to make at the current time.”
There are no additional details as to the nature of the claims, which were first reported by Byline Investigates, but the Guardian reports they were filed by Clintons, a law firm known for dealing with phone-hacking claims in the past.
The documents were first filed on Sept. 27, just a few days before Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced formal legal proceedings against the Mail on Sunday and its parent company, Associated Newspapers.
In an official statement published to the Sussexes’ website, Prince Harry highlights the media scrutiny Markle has faced.
Meghan Markle, Prince Harry file lawsuit against U.K. tabloid
“Unfortunately, my wife 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 statement reads.
“Up to now, we have been unable to correct the continual misrepresentations — something that these select media outlets have been aware of and have therefore exploited on a daily and sometimes hourly basis.
“There comes a point when the only thing to do is to stand up to this behaviour because it destroys people and destroys lives,” the statement continues. “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.”
The end of the statement announces that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are specifically filing a claim against the Mail on Sunday and its parent company.
The claim filed against the Mail on Sunday accuses the publication of misuse of private information, infringement of copyright and breach of the 2018 Data Protection Act.
A spokesperson from Schillings, the U.K. law firm representing Markle, said in a statement: “We have initiated legal proceedings against the Mail on Sunday, and its parent company Associated Newspapers, over the intrusive and unlawful publication of a private letter written by the Duchess of Sussex, which is part of a campaign by this media group to publish false and deliberately derogatory stories about her, as well as her husband.
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“Given the refusal of Associated Newspapers to resolve this issue satisfactorily, we have issued proceedings to redress this breach of privacy, infringement of copyright and the aforementioned media agenda,” the statement continued.
The private letter to which the lawsuit refers is one Markle reportedly wrote to her father, Thomas Markle, prior to the royal wedding last year.
The case, the website states, is being privately funded by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Proceeds from any damages will be donated to an anti-bullying charity.
The new mom has been a target of British tabloids ever since she was officially linked to Prince Harry in 2016. This isn’t the first time the duke has released a formal statement regarding her treatment by the media.
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