Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have lodged a complaint alleging that unidentified “paparazzi and media outlets” are invading their privacy by utilizing drones to photograph their son Archie in their backyard.
Photographers took images of the then 14-month-old at the Sussexes’ Beverly Hills home during lockdown, according to a lawsuit filed in LA County Superior Court.
Drones were reportedly photographing Archie playing in a pool at Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Los Angeles residence. The former Duke and Duchess of Sussex reportedly called the cops on several drones that soared only 20 feet over their house in an attempt to capture private pictures of Archie, according to The Daily Beast on Wednesday, May 27.
According to the complaint, up to 100 person identified as “John Doe” have made “relentless and quite frankly shocking efforts” to “profit from serial intrusions on the privacy of a 14-month-old child in his own home.”
Meghan’s friend told the publication: “Imagine if you were in their shoes facing that, how that would feel? To have drones buzzing around 20 feet above your head when you are trying to play with your son?”
In reaction to the assassination of the duke’s mother, Princess Diana, in Paris the year before, Los Angeles was the first state to enact anti-paparazzi legislation in 1998.
After announcing their intention to step down as senior members of the British royal family, Meghan and Harry relocated from the United Kingdom to Canada in January. In April, the pair moved to Los Angeles for their careers and to raise Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, their one-year-old son. At the time, the two were staying in Tyler Perry’s multimillion-dollar home while looking for a permanent residence.
The Sussexes are seeking undisclosed punitive damages, attorney’s costs, the forfeiture of all income earned as a result of the privacy breaches, and a judicial order against “any further unlawful harassment.”
According to the lawsuit, “the Plaintiffs have done everything in their power to stay out of the limelight except in connection with their work, which they freely admit is newsworthy.” “But the photos at issue are not news. They are not public interest. They are harassment. The sole point to taking and/or selling such invasive photos is to profit from a child.”
“Every individual and family member in California is guaranteed by law the right to privacy in their home,” Meghan and Harry’s lawyer Michael J. Kump said. The right cannot be taken away by satellites, helicopters, or telephoto lenses.
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are filing this lawsuit to protect their young son’s right to privacy in their home without intrusion by photographers, and to uncover and stop those who seek to profit from these illegal actions.”
“Others have flown helicopters above the backyard of the residence, as early as 5:30 a.m. and as late as 7:00 p.m., waking neighbors and their son, day after day. And still others have even cut holes in the security fence itself to peer through it,” the complaint says.
According to one source, there have been five “drone-related incidents” in the month of May alone. The most recent occurred on Memorial Day, when Meghan and Harry were in the pool with Archie.
“It’s like people forget they are real people,” the source said. “But this is a real family. They are not asking for any special treatment; they are just asking for the safety and security we all expect in our own homes to be respected.”
According to The Sun, the pair is in the midst of recruiting their own security staff.
The Sussexes took a break from their royal duties earlier this year, partly to avoid the constant media scrutiny. Their court action outlines the alleged intrusions they’ve seen since then. According to the lawsuit, the Daily Mail released their address when they traveled to Canada and again after they moved into Tyler Perry’s Los Angeles house.