Prince Harry drops libel case against Daily Mail after damaging pre-trial ruling

London (AFP) – Prince Harry He dropped his libel suit on Friday against the publisher of the Daily Mail after a ruling in which a judge cast doubt on his case as it headed to trial.

The Duke of Sussex's lawyers have told the High Court in London that he will not pursue the case against Associated Newspapers Ltd.

No reason was given, but it came on the day he was scheduled to hand over documents in the case and after a punitive ruling last month. The judge ordered Harry to pay the money to the publisher Nearly 50,000 pounds (more than $60,000) in legal fees after failing to achieve victory without going to trial.

The move will leave him on the hook to pay the publisher's legal fees, which the Daily Mail reported amounted to £250,000 ($316,000). A spokesman for the Duke said it was too early to speculate on costs.

The case involved a Mail on Sunday article which said Harry had tried to hide his efforts to retain him Publicly funded protection In the United Kingdom after stepping away from his role as a working member of the royal family.

Harry's lawyers claimed that the article attacked his honesty and integrity by purporting to reveal that the court documents “contrary to public statements he has previously made about his willingness to pay for police protection for himself and his family while in the UK.” He said the article would undermine his credibility. Act of charity.

The publisher said that the article expresses an honest opinion and did not cause any serious damage to his reputation.

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in March, Harry sought summary judgment – to win the case without going to trial – and tried to drop the mail defense, but the judge didn't buy it.

Judge Matthew Nicklin Ruling of December 8 That the publisher had a “realistic prospect” of showing that the statements made on Harry’s behalf were misleading and that the February 2022 article reflected “honest opinion” and was not defamatory.

“The defendant might assert that this was a masterclass in the art of 'spinning' in his refusal to plead honest opinion,” Nicklin wrote.

Harry (39 years old), the youngest son of King Charles III, broke away from the royal family as he prepared to go to court and became the main forum for his battles with the British press.

Associated Newspapers is one of three tabloid publishers it is suing over their claims Illegal means were usedSuch as deception, phone hacking, or hiring private investigators to try to dig it up.

He also has a pending lawsuit against the government's decision to protect him on a case-by-case basis when he visits Britain. He claims that hostility towards him and his wife on social media and constant persecution by the media threatens their safety. He pointed to media interference in his decision to leave life as a senior member of the royal family and move to the United States

Harry's spokesman said his focus remains on this case and the safety of his family.

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Follow AP's coverage of Prince Harry on https://apnews.com/hub/prince-harry

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