Prince Harry has withdrawn his libel claim against Associated Newspapers, the publisher of Mail on Sunday.
The lawsuit, which he filed in February 2022, related to a story published about the Duke of Sussex's legal battle with the UK Home Office surrounding police protection. This morning, his lawyers filed a notice with the court, stating, "The Duke of Sussex discontinues all of this claim." According to the Telegraph, "He faces having to pay the newspaper’s costs of £250,000 along with his own lawyers’ fees, meaning a potential legal bill of more than £750,000."
The Mail story that Harry was suing over wrote that Harry "tried to keep details of his legal battle to reinstate his police protection secret from the public," but his lawyers argued that the story "purported to reveal, in sensational terms" that court documents "contradicted public statements he had previously made about his willingness to pay for police protection for himself and his family whilst in the UK."
In December, Prince Harry lost a bid to throw out the Mail's defense (their defense was that the story was an "honest opinion," not causing the Duke "serious harm").
The withdrawing of this case doesn't indicate he will back down on his other legal battles, however. This one (around libel) is different from his ongoing lawsuits surrounding phone hacking and illegal news gathering, and there have been no signs that he will withdraw those cases.
In December, when he won a case against the Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN), Harry said in a statement,"Today’s ruling is vindicating and affirming. I’ve been told that slaying dragons will get you burned. But in light of today’s victory and the importance of doing what is needed for a free and honest press – it’s a worthwhile price to pay. The mission continues."
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