Meghan Markle and Prince Harry win apology from paparazzi agency for using a drone to take pics of baby Archie
MEGHAN Markle and Prince Harry have won an apology from a paparazzi agency who allegedly used drones to take pictures of baby Archie.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex launched legal action in LA in July claiming an individual had photographed Archie, then 14 months old, at their home during lockdown.
The couple claimed the pictures were an invasion of privacy.
In a statement today, their lawyer Michael Kump, of Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump LLP, said the agency responsible, X17, had apologised to the couple and agreed to pay a portion of their legal fees.
He added: "Over the summer, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex took action against intrusive and illegal paparazzi photos taken of their family at a private residence.
"Today, the agency responsible for those photos – X17 – apologised and agreed to a permanent injunction and reimbursement of a portion of legal fees.
"This is a successful outcome.
"All families have a right, protected by law, to feel safe and secure at home."
Court documents from the Los Angeles County Superior Court said that the photos were of baby Archie and Meghan's mum Doria Ragland.
X17 has agreed to turn over the photos to the family and destroy any copies in its archives or databases.
The agency has also pledged to never again traffic in any photos of the couple or their son taken by drone, zoom or telephoto lenses "in any private residence or the surrounding private grounds".
In their lawsuit the Duke and Duchess had claimed they lived "unmolested" in North Saanich, Canada, for six weeks before the media published their new location.
They claim this led to "up to 40 paparazzi and media organisations descending on this peaceful community from hundreds of miles away".
The couple said their move to Los Angeles earlier this year to the "gated community at the generosity of a friend" – believed to be Hollywood producer Tyler Perry – was similarly exposed which resulted in further distress.
The couple claimed that drones had been flown 20ft above their house as often as three times a day and that some of the pictures of Archie were sold.
Helicopters have also flown over the residence as early as 5.30am and as late as 7pm which had the effect of "waking neighbours and their son, day after day", the legal papers state.
Holes were also cut into the security fence by photographers, the lawsuit adds.
The lawsuit was prompted by "the relentless and quite frankly shocking efforts of the tabloid media" to "profit from serial intrusions" on Archie's privacy, the lawsuit states
It adds that the former royal couple want to do what is "necessary to protect their children from this manufactured feeding frenzy".
The lawsuit also cites California's privacy laws, which make photographing or filming anyone in their homes by use of drone or telephoto lenses illegal.
Because Harry and Meghan do not know who took the pictures, the lawsuit initially targeted unnamed defendants.
This allowed the couple to pursue, through subpoenas, anyone selling the images.
Harry and Meghan – who departed the royal family in March, saying they wanted a more private life – "seek no special treatment whatsoever" and only want the right to privacy.
It comes as the Duchess is also suing Associated Newspapers, who publish the Mail on Sunday and MailOnline, over articles which featured parts of a "private and confidential" letter from the duchess to her estranged father, Thomas Markle.
Source: Read Full Article