Prince Harry and Meghan Markle celebrated their son Archie's first birthday by posting a video in which Meghan had the classic "Duck! Rabbit!" to him.
Royal expatriates Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, filed a lawsuit against Los Angeles paparazzi to stop the "disgusting and false" sale of a photo of their 14-month-old son Archie.
The lawsuit, which was filed with the Los Angeles Supreme Court on Thursday, is an emotional legal broadside aimed at stopping the publication of the photo taken by an unknown photographer and the "artificial feeding frenzy" caused by the paparazzi.
"This action results from the relentless and frankly shocking efforts of the tabloid media to benefit from serial intrusions into the privacy of a 14-month-old child in his own home," the court files said. "And a parent's desire and responsibility to do what is necessary to protect their children."
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British Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, are leaving Canada House on January 7, 2020 after thanking for the hospitality and support they received during their stay in the country. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS, POOL / AFP via Getty Images)
“Every individual and family member in California is legally guaranteed the right to privacy in their home. No drones, helicopters, or telephoto lenses can override this right, "the couple's lawyer, Michael Kump, said in a statement to USA TODAY, adding that the lawsuit aims to" protect their young son's right to privacy in their home without this interfering with photographers and uncovering and stopping those who want to benefit from these illegal acts. "
The court records describe Harry and Meghan's move to North America earlier this year, where they were "unmolested" for six weeks in North Saanich, Canada. However, a British tabloid published its "exact location, which as usual led to up to 40 paparazzi and media organizations coming to this peaceful community".
The newspapers say the disorder forced the family to move to a closed community in Los Angeles, where the paparazzi followed again, despite attempts to place a large chain link fence around photographers with long lenses on a crest above the house to block.
"Unfortunately, due to the ingenuity of the tabloids and their insatiable appetite to bother and affect family privacy, their best efforts have not been entirely successful," the couple said.
The newspapers show paparazzi flying drones "just 20 feet above the house, as often as three times a day" to take pictures and cut holes in their security fence to see through in their private residence. Others have flown helicopters across their backyard "as early as 5:30 a.m. and as late as 7:00 p.m. to wake up neighbors and their son every day," the newspapers say.
But the paparazzi "have crossed a red line for every parent," the newspapers say. The couple believe that Archie's pictures are "wrongly" for sale, which are said to have been taken on public grounds in Malibu, even though they actually say they were taken in their back yard.
"Archie has not been in the public eye, let alone in Malibu since the family arrived here," the lawsuit said.
It is claimed that the picture was incorrectly labeled because the sellers knew that it would be illegal for them to sell a photo of a child in their own home. "The photos in question are not news. They are not in the public interest," the newspapers said. "You are a nuisance."
The lawsuit calls the sale of these photos "disgusting and wrong", tries to find out the identity of the photographers, unspecified financial relief and to have the photos handed over to Harry and Meghan. It also called for further "harassment" against the family to be stopped, a word used nine times in the 10-page legal act.
The couple "seeks no special treatment," the newspapers say, but "the right to be left alone in the privacy of their own home – a right guaranteed by the constitution and laws of the State of California."
The official spokesman for Harry and Meghan declined to go into further detail.
Both Harry and Meghan are suing three British tabloids in two separate lawsuits in London. Meghan's lawsuit accuses The Mail of privacy and copyright infringement on Sunday for posting a letter she wrote to her estranged father in the months after her 2018 wedding to Harry at Windsor Castle. Harry sued The Sun and The Mirror newspapers for allegedly hacking his phone as a teenager.
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