Britain’s Prince Harry warned the press Tuesday against harassing his actress girlfriend Meghan Markle.
Kensington Palace issued a statement on Twitter from the prince’s communications secretary saying the press had crossed a line in the past week, as speculation swirled over whether the two were in a relationship. The statement is the first official reference to the pair as a couple.
“His girlfriend Meghan Markle has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment. Some of this has been very public — the smear on the front page of a national newspaper; the racial undertones of comment pieces; and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments.
“Some of it has been hidden from the public — the nightly legal battles to keep defamatory stories out of the papers; her mother having to struggle past photographers to get to her front door.”
The palace said Markle, who lives in Toronto where her TV series “Suits” is filmed, has had photographers try to break into her home and that her ex-boyfriend had been offered “substantial bribes” by various newspapers.
“Prince Harry is worried about Ms. Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her,” the statement read.
The prince asked for his statement to be issued so that the press behind the story could “pause and reflect before any further damage is done.”