Britians ’s Prince Harry issued a rare statement yesterday criticizing the media for intruding into the private life of his American girlfriend, actress Meghan Markle, saying the press had subjected her to a wave of abuse and harassment.
British newspapers have been running daily stories about Markle since it emerged at the end of last month that the actress, 35 ,had been secretly dating the prince, 32, the grandson of Queen Elizabeth, for several months.
Harry and elder brother Prince William have had a strained relationship with the press ever since their mother, Princess Diana, was killed in a car crash in Paris in 1997 while being chased by paparazzi on motorbikes.
However, his communications secretary, officially confirming Harry and Markle’s relationship, contained an unusually strong condemnation of the press.
“He has rarely taken formal action on the very regular publication of fictional stories that are written about him and he has worked hard to develop a professional relationship with the media,” he said.
“But the past week has seen a line crossed. His girlfriend, Meghan Markle, has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment.
“Some of this has been very public – the smear on the front page of a national newspaper; the racial undertones of comment pieces; and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments.”
Divorcee Markle is from Los Angeles and stars in the legal drama Suits. Her father is white and her mother African-American.
The secretary said royal aides had fought nightly legal battles to keep defamatory stories from appearing in papers.
It also included a litany of alleged offences by reporters.
Markle’s mother had been besieged by media camped outside her door and they had tried to gain illegal entry to her home.
Markle’s ex-boyfriend had been offered huge bribes, it said, while nearly every friend, coworker, and loved one had been bombarded by the press.
The prince understood he enjoyed a privileged life but was worried about Markle’s safety.
“He knows commentators will say this is the price she has top a y. He strongly disagrees.
“This is not a game – it is her life and his.”