Prince Harry unexpectedly withdrew his libel case against a UK newspaper Friday – just hours before he was set to turn over relevant documents to the High Court.
Lawyers for the disgruntled duke, 39, announced at 10 a.m. Friday that he was “discontinuing” the case against the Mail on Sunday, the Telegraph reported.
Harry now faces having to pay the newspaper’s $316,774.25 fees as well as his own attorneys – which could result in a bill totalling over $950,000.
The California-based prince’s decision to drop the case was first reported by the Mail on Sunday’s sister publication, the Daily Mail.
Harry had sued Associated Newspapers Limited over a February 2022 article that accused him of misleading the public about his willingness to pay for his personal security, the Telegraph explained.
Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, famously lost their personal security when they stepped down from royal duties in 2020.
In the article, the Mail on Sunday alleged that Harry only offered to pay for his own protection after he filed a legal complaint against the Home Office.
In December, he lost his attempt to have the paper’s defense thrown out – meaning the litigation would proceed to the High Court, where Harry would have to prove that the story actually caused “serious harm,” the Telegraph said.
The publisher, Mr. Justice Nicklin ruled at the time, had a “real prospect of demonstrating that an honest person could have held the view” that Harry’s portrayal of his security struggle was “a masterclass in the art of spinning.”
The deadline for both sides of present relevant documents for the claim was Friday.
The libel case is one of several the duke has brought against the tabloid media.
Harry and six other celebrities – including Elton John – are also suing Associated Newspapers on allegations of phone-hacking and other illegal activities.
With Post wires
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