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Prince Harry Confirms Meghan Markle As 'Girlfriend', Defends Her Against 'Smears'

In a rare move, Prince Harry confirmed he is dating 'Suits' actress Meghan Markle on Tuesday.

In a statement through his communications secretary, he said the two had been together for a few months and criticized "a wave of abuse and harassment" that she's experienced after their relationship made headlines.

"The past week has seen a line crossed," reads the statement. "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."

Markle's mother is African-American and father is Caucasian.

"Some of it has been hidden from the public — the nightly legal battles to keep defamatory stories out of papers; her mother having to struggle past photographers in order to get to her front door; the attempts of reporters and photographers to gain illegal entry to her home and the calls to police that followed."

"Prince Harry is worried about Ms. Markle's safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her."

"It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm. He knows commentators will say this is 'the price she has to pay’ and that 'this is all part of the game'. He strongly disagrees. This is not a game — it is her life and his."

"Since he was young, Prince Harry has been very aware of the warmth that has been extended to him by members of the public. He feels lucky to have so many people supporting him and knows what a fortunate and privileged life he leads."

"He is also aware that there is significant curiosity about his private life. He has never been comfortable with this, but he has tried to develop a thick skin … and he has worked hard to develop a professional relationship with the media, focused on his work and the issues he cares about."

Harry hopes the statement will make "those in the press who have been driving this story can pause and reflect before any further damage is done."

"He knows that it is unusual to issue a statement like this," it concludes, "but hopes that fair-minded people will understand why he has felt it necessary to speak publicly."

November 9, 2016 |

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