West News Wire: Prince Harry’s attorneys requested on Friday that a judge decide that a tabloid newspaper had defamed the British royal by publishing an article about his need for police protection while he and his family are visiting the U.K.
Harry is suing the publisher of the Mail on Sunday, Associated Newspapers Ltd., in response to a report that said he attempted to cover up his separate legal action against the British government for forbidding him from paying for police security.
Harry’s main counsel requested Judge Matthew Nickin to either throw out the publisher’s defense or issue a summary judgment, which would be a decision in the prince’s favor without a trial, at a hearing at the High Court in London.
Lawyer Justin Rushbrooke said the facts did not support the publisher’s “substantive pleaded defense” that the article expressed an “honest opinion.”
He said the article was “fundamentally inaccurate.”
Harry was not in court for the hearing. The prince, also known as the Duke of Sussex, and his wife, Meghan, lost their publicly funded U.K. police protection when they stepped down as senior working royals and moved to North America in 2020.
Harry’s lawyers have said the prince is reluctant to bring the couple’s children Prince Archie, who is almost 4, and Princess Lilibet, nearly 2 to his homeland because it is not safe.
The 38-year-old prince wants to pay personally for police security when he comes to Britain, but the government said that wasn’t possible. Last year, a judge gave Harry permission to sue the government. That case has yet to come to trial.
Harry sued Associated Newspapers over a February 2022 Mail on Sunday article headlined “Exclusive: How Prince Harry tried to keep his legal fight with the government over police bodyguards a secret then just minutes after the story broke his PR machine tried to put a positive spin on the dispute.”
Harry claims that the newspaper libeled him when it suggested that the prince lied in his initial public statements about the suit against the government.