Prince Harry has won “significant” damages after taking legal action against a British tabloid for “false and defamatory” claims.
Harry settled a legal dispute with Associated Newspapers, publisher of The Mail on Sunday and the MailOnline, accepting damages and an apology after the publication of a Mail on Sunday story titled “Top General accuses Harry of Turning his Back on the Marines,” CNN and The Associated Press report. The claims were also published on the MailOnline.
As the MailOnline explained in a December apology, although the tabloid reported that Harry had been “accused by a top general of turning his back on the Royal Marines since withdrawing from his military roles in March and that, in an apparent snub to the Armed Forces, he had failed to reply to a letter from Lord Dannatt, a former Chief of the General Staff,” he had in fact “been in contact in a private capacity with individuals in the military including in the Royal Marines to offer informal support since March,” and he actually “did not initially receive the letter” due to “administrative issues” but “has since replied.”
“The baseless, false and defamatory stories published constituted not only a personal attack on the Duke’s character, but also wrongly brought into question his service to this country,” Harry’s lawyer said, per CNN. A spokesperson for the Duke of Sussex also said that the “Mail on Sunday and MailOnline publicly admitted in open court that they pushed a completely false and defamatory story.”
This case was separate from another lawsuit Meghan Markle has brought against Associated Newspapers over the publication of a private letter she wrote. The amount of damages in the case wasn’t disclosed, but Prince Harry’s legal team described them as “significant,” according to CNN. His lawyer also said he would donate the damages to his Invictus Games Foundation charity so “he could feel something good had come out of the situation.”