Prince Harry drops libel case against UK newspaper

Agence France-Presse - Philstar.com
Prince Harry drops libel case against UK newspaper
In this file photo taken on January 16, 2020, Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex watches children play rugby league prior to the draw for the Rugby League World Cup 2021 at Buckingham Palace in London.
AFP / Adrian Dennis

LONDON, United Kingdom — Prince Harry has dropped his libel case against UK newspaper the Mail on Sunday, the publication said Friday, although the estranged royal is still waging a series of legal battles against media groups.

Harry brought the claim following an article on his separate legal battle with the British government over security arrangements while in the UK.

But the prince, who now lives in the United States with American wife Meghan, dropped that case as he was due to hand over a list of documents that could have appeared in the trial, according to a report on the MailOnline website.

"Today was the deadline for both sides to disclose a list of any relevant documents," said the report.

"Instead, at 10.06am (1006 GMT), Harry's lawyers informed the newspaper it had filed a notice with the court stating: 'The Duke of Sussex discontinues all of this claim,'" it added.

The paper said that Harry, 39, would have to pay the newspaper's £250,000 ($317,000) costs along with his own legal fees, estimating the total at "more than £750,000".

Harry sued over an article that said his PR team had tried to "spin" the Home Office dispute by claiming he had offered to personally pay for the police protection.

The Home Office says it had received no such offer at that time.

Harry's legal team asked High Court judge Matthew Nicklin to rule in his favor without going to trial, but the request was rejected.

The prince has had a turbulent relationship with the media and holds the press responsible for the death of his mother Princess Diana, who died in a Paris car crash in 1997 as she fled from paparazzi.

Harry and Meghan stepped back from royal duties in 2020 and relocated to California, in part blaming media attention for the move.

The prince has vowed to make reforming the British media his life's mission and has waged several battles with UK tabloids.

The High Court in London in December ruled that Harry was a victim of phone hacking by journalists working for Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN), and awarded him £140,600 in damages.

He is also taking legal action against Associated Newspapers — publisher of the Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday — over alleged breaches of privacy and is suing News Group Newspapers (NGN), part of Rupert Murdoch's global media empire, for unlawful information-gathering.

RELATED: Prince Harry wins latest round in legal battle with UK newspapers

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