The New York Times reveals this week that The Sun paid a private detective to investigate the couple.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry criticized the ‘predating practices’ that a British tabloid allegedly used to investigate the couple in 2016 after the New York Times newspaper revealed this week that The Sun paid a private detective in the United States to investigate the life of the Duchess of Sussex when they began dating.
On Thursday (18), Los Angeles private investigator Daniel ‘Danno’ Portley-Hanks told The New York Times that he sold The Sun’s U.S. editor, James Beal, private and illegal information about Meghan for $2,055.
The information included cell phone numbers, social security numbers, and home addresses, which allegedly led The Sun to publish unfavorable stories about his half-sister Samantha Markle and father Thomas Markle.
In statements to program E! News, the spokesman for the Dukes of Sussex, shared:
“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 research report shows that the predating practices of past days are still ongoing, reaping irreversible harm to families and relationships. They thank those who work in the media and defend the values of journalism, which are needed now more than ever,” the statement said.
According to the New York Times, Daniel protected the restricted information through the TLOxp database, but the media notes that licensed private investigators can also legally access this information for their clients:
“But it is a violation of U.S. privacy statutes that people pass these reports on to news organizations. News media can search for some information, but they only have access to a limited set of data,” he said.
The researcher publicly apologized to the Sussex and Queen Elizabeth II for their research work causing so much trouble for the couple:
“I regret Meghan Markle and Prince Harry for attacking their family, especially their father, on behalf of The Sun. I never wanted to hurt Meghan Markle, and I wouldn’t have done the job if I’d known it would lead to all this (…) I also wanted to take this opportunity to apologize to the queen, because I know the damage the Sun did affect the whole family.”
Daniel wrote in a statement to Harry’s lawyers: “I firmly believe that James Beal knew that what he was providing to him was obtained illegally.”
It is not yet known whether the investigator will be punished for his revelations.