Speed Reads

'first phase'

Judge rules British tabloid's article about Prince Harry was defamatory

Prince Harry has scored a win in his latest legal battle with a British tabloid.

A judge in London has ruled that parts of an article published in The Mail on Sunday about the Duke of Sussex were defamatory, according to The Hollywood Reporter

Harry sued Associated Newspapers, publisher of The Mail on Sunday, for libel over an article about his battle for police protection in the U.K. The article claimed Harry "tried to keep his legal fight with the government over police bodyguards a SECRET" and that his "PR machine tried to put a positive spin on the dispute." Harry's attorneys alleged the tabloid falsely suggested he lied and "improperly and cynically tried to manipulate and confuse public opinion," CNN reports

Now, Judge ​​Matthew Nicklin has agreed the article was defamatory, saying readers would believe Harry was "responsible for attempting to mislead and confuse the public," Reuters reports. This doesn't mean Harry has won the case but that he can proceed with it. "This is very much the first phase in a libel claim," the judge said, and the publisher will now file a defense. 

Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, have engaged in numerous legal battles with British tabloids in recent years. Harry previously sued the publisher of the Mail on Sunday over an article claiming he "turned his back" on the Royal Marines, which led to a correction. Meghan Markle also won a claim against the publisher for publishing portions of a private letter she sent to her father.