The Duke and Duchess of Sussex relocated to California with 1-year-old Archie in March

By Stephanie Petit
July 24, 2020 12:50 PM
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Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and Archie
Toby Melville/WireImage

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are taking action after paparazzi "crossed a red line for any parent," according to legal papers filed by the couple's attorneys in Los Angeles.

The couple are suing unnamed photographers after images surfaced of their 14-month-old son Archie playing in the backyard of their Los Angeles home.

"Every individual and family member in California is guaranteed by law the right to privacy in their home. No drones, helicopters or telephoto lenses can take away that right," their attorney, Michael Kump of Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert LLP, said in a statement. "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."

Meghan Markle and Archie
The Duke of Sussex/@SaveChildrenUK

According to the legal papers, recent pictures of Archie are being distributed under the claim that they were taken during a public outing "in Malibu." However, they say that Archie has not been in public — and certainly not in Malibu — since the family's arrival to the U.S.

"It is clear from a description of the photographs being shopped that they were taken of activities in the backyard of the residence, unbeknownst to the Plaintiffs," the legal papers state. "The unscrupulous people shopping these photographs have not innocently mislabeled the photographs as having been taken in a public place. They have done so intentionally, because they know that unsolicited photographs of a young child in the privacy of his own home are very much unlawful."

Archie and Prince Harry
Sussex Royals

"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 in the public interest. They are harassment," attorneys state in the papers.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who relocated to California with Archie in March, are said to be living in Tyler Perry's Beverly Hills mansion, which appears to be referenced in the legal papers as "a safer gated community at the generosity of a friend."

Archie, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
Samir Hussein/WireImage

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Meghan is also suing publishers Associated Newspapers and the Mail on Sunday for publishing extracts of what she describes as a "private and confidential" letter sent to her father, Thomas Markle, in August 2018 — three months after her wedding to Prince Harry.

The letter was first referred to in February 2019 when five of Meghan's close friends spoke to PEOPLE about the "global bullying" they said was aimed at her. The Mail on Sunday says that Meghan's father revealed the contents of the letter after a friend had told PEOPLE of its existence.