(CTN News) – Britain’s Prince Harry dropped his libel suit against the publisher of the Mail on Sunday tabloid over an article regarding his security arrangements on Friday, citing a desire to focus on his family’s safety, according to a spokeswoman.
Prince Harry, King Charles’ younger son, has sued Associated Newspapers for a 2022 article claiming he only consented to pay for police protection after filing a separate lawsuit against the British government.
The study also accused Harry, 39, of seeking to deceive the public about his readiness to pay for the policing, which was withdrawn once he stepped down from his duties in 2020.
Prince Harry to Pay 250,000 Pounds in Costs, Plus His Own Estimated Fees of 500,000 Pounds
In December, he failed his bid to have the paper’s defence to his libel claim dismissed, which meant he would have had to testify at London’s High Court later in the year.
The Daily Mail, the Mail on Sunday’s sister publication, stated that Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, had abandoned his case hours before his lawyers were required to turn over critical documents.
The publication stated that he would now be obligated to pay the paper’s expenditures of 250,000 pounds ($316,900.00), as well as his personal fees of 500,000 pounds. Both Harry’s lawyer and an Associated representative declined to comment.
The prince’s spokeswoman, who claimed the legal fees had not been established, said he had withdrawn the claim to focus on his family’s safety and his complaint against the British government for depriving him of compulsory police protection when in Britain.
After retiring from royal duties in 2020, Prince Harry, his American wife Meghan, and their two children now live in California. His claim against the government was heard in December, with a decision due within the next three months.
The statement stated that Harry’s attention was on that lawsuit rather than the libel action, which would “give a continued platform to the Mail’s false claims all those years ago”.
Last July, London’s High Court found that the Mail piece was defamatory, allowing Prince Harry to pursue the case against one of Britain’s largest media organisations. However, his attempt to have the issue settled in his favour without a trial ultimately failed.
The legal action was one of several cases the monarch is pursuing against British newspapers at the High Court. He and six other high-profile individuals, including musician Elton John, are also suing Associated, alleging pervasive illegal activity, including phone hacking by its journalists.
In November, a court denied the publisher’s request to dismiss the case, allowing it to proceed to trial.