Harry & Meghan Respond To Exposé Of Illegal Tabloid Research On Markle Family

Harry & Meghan Respond To Exposé On Illegal Tabloid Research

Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan have responded through their spokesperson after a private investigator for a UK tabloid confessed to conducting illegal research on Meghan and her family. The Duke and Duchess called the act "predatory" but added that the story coming out makes for "an important moment of reflection." The retired P.I. shared his story with the BBC because he watched the Oprah Winfrey interview and said he wanted to clear his conscience.

On Thursday, BBC News published a troubling story on a retired private investigator who confessed to illegally researching Meghan Markle and her family for UK tabloid The Sun.

In the exposé, The Sun claims it directed the P.I. to lawfully research the Markles in 2016. However, he says the "comprehensive report" included personal phone numbers, home addresses, and illegally-obtained social security numbers.

Retired P.I. tells BBC of illegal research on Meghan Markle

The investigator, Danno Hanks, said of The Sun and his research: "They didn't care. They just wanted the information." On why he chose to speak to the BBC, he added: "I'm just doing it to clear my conscience."

The BBC says there is "no evidence" that further "intrusive investigations" followed using dangerous information such as social security numbers, but they add that The Sun published reports involving personal text messages and private visits between Harry and Meghan around the time of the research, which occurred during the couple's courtship.

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle respond to illegal research story

For the story, Harry and Meghan released the following statement through their spokesperson: "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex feel that today is an important moment of reflection for the media industry and society at large, as this investigative report shows that the predatory practices of days past are still ongoing, reaping irreversible damage for families and relationships.

"They are grateful to those working in media who stand for upholding the values of journalism, which are needed now more than ever before," the statement concluded.

Oprah with Meghan and Harry inspired P.I. to speak on illegal research.

The exposé comes in the aftermath of Oprah with Meghan and Harry, the interview in which the couple spoke at length about the damaging effects of the UK's tabloid media and misinformation. The interview is already making an impact, because the private investigator watched and it "prompted him to speak out" with the BBC.

Duchess Meghan also recently won a case in High Court against ANL and will get a front-page apology after a judge ruled her privacy was violated by the publisher of The Mail on Sunday and MailOnline.