Hard-core royal watchers (and soft-core gossip hounds) already know that Prince Harry has been dating actress Meghan Markle, a regular on the USA Network drama Suits. The unusual romance hadn’t been confirmed, but when the alleged couple appeared on the cover of US Weekly a few weeks ago, you knew there was at least some casual dating involved. But a few hours ago, not only did Harry confirm the relationship, but he took the unprecedented step of releasing a lengthy statement through his spokesperson, decrying the intense harassment she’s faced since news of the relationship first broke.
″The past week has seen a line crossed,” reads the statement, which was released by Harry’s communications secretary, Jason Knauf. “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.”
The letter also describes the insidious way in which the blowback from Markle’s relationship has seemingly permeated every aspect of her life. “Some of it has been hidden from the public,” it goes on to say. “The nightly legal battles to keep defamatory stories out of papers; her mother having to struggle past photographers to gain illegal entry to her home and the calls to police that followed; the substantial bribes offered by papers to her ex-boyfriend; the bombardment of nearly every friend, co-worker, and loved one in her life.”
Markle’s mother, who is black, lives in the Crenshaw neighborhood of Los Angeles and has been continuously harassed by a section of the vampiric British press (*cough* Daily Mail *cough*), which cover the royal family with a bloodthirsty fervor. The letter says that Harry is worried about Markle’s safety and his inability to protect her, which sounds dark. Markle lives in Toronto, where Suits is filmed, and in her downtime is a global ambassador for World Vision. We wish these two lovebirds the best of luck. The full statement is below.