Unilateral statement in open court
A statement in open court has been read on behalf of the Duke of Sussex, thereby concluding his claim for libel against Associated Newspapers Limited.
On 25 October 2020 the Mail on Sunday published the article “Top general accuses Harry of turning his back on the Marines” and the MailOnline an article to similar effect called “Top general accuses Prince Harry of turning his back on the Royal Marines after stepping down from ceremonial role as part of Megxit deal”.
The articles alleged that the Duke had turned his back on the Royal Marines, snubbed the British Armed Forces and ignored correspondence from Lord Dannatt, a former Chief of the General Staff.
On 27 December the Mail on Sunday and the MailOnline published apologies to the Duke in their Corrections & Clarifications column which acknowledged that the allegations were false.
The Duke was then granted permission to read a Unilateral Statement in Open Court. In the statement his solicitor, Jenny Afia, explained that the allegations complained of were untrue and why the Claimant believed that the wording and mode of publication of the apologies had not been commensurate with that given to the articles complained of. She noted that, in particular, whilst the MailOnline article which had defamed the Claimant had 3,000 comments posted beneath it and had received 1,000 shares, the online apology received no comments and only 9 shares.
Ms Afia concluded by stating that the Duke was donating his substantial damages to the Invictus Games Foundation.