The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have issued a legal warning over paparazzi photographs of Meghan and Archie in Canada, complaining that they are being “stalked” following their split from Buckingham palace.
Within hours of Prince Harry joining his wife and son on Vancouver Island for a more “peaceful” life Tuesday, the couple’s lawyers Schillings sent out a strongly worded letter claiming that images had been taken, without consent, by paparazzi who had been “hiding in the bushes and spying”.
The couple add that they are prepared to take legal action, and according to a Canadian privacy expert, could find “a sympathetic reception” in the B.C. courts.
“When you look at the circumstances, as the court, of them moving to Canada to escape scrutiny and take into context the story of Princess Diana being pursued by paparazzi, their desire for privacy is a legitimate one,” David Fraser, Canadian privacy expert, told the National Post.
And, under the British Columbia privacy act, they could very well sue for invasion of privacy. “It depends upon the circumstances,” Fraser explained. “It also says that surveillance can be an invasion of privacy, so when you think of it in the context of paparazzi, especially aggressive paparazzi, it may well be that they have a case to make.”
The complaint came after The Sun published pictures showing a smiling Duchess walking her dogs while carrying her eight-month-old son in a sling, accompanied by two bodyguards. Although the former actress is captured cheerfully looking straight down the lens, sources close to the couple vehemently denied she consented and insisted they were extremely alarmed about recent paparazzi activity.
A royal source told the London Telegraph: “After weeks of being stalked, their house surrounded, erratic car chases and photos taken into the house from photographers patrolling on boats – this is the final straw.
“On Monday, a pap photographer, who had followed Meghan from the house took surreptitious photos while hiding in the bushes. These photos have been published online and by a number of U.K. newspapers, with no consideration of how they were obtained. This type of continual harassment and the ignoring of numerous legal notices asking them to stop, obviously raises serious safety and security concerns and is causing them considerable distress.”
However, he emphasized that “expectation to privacy isn’t binary.” For example, he explained, if a person can be observed by someone in a public space, the expectation may not be as arguable as, if that same someone had to climb a fence to observe them in their backyard.
The allegations of photographers using long lenses to shoot photos of the couple in their house, could be subject to voyeurism, if the photographers chose the wrong windows. “Bedroom, bathroom windows etc, it would cross that line,” said Fraser.
However, the lack of paparazzi culture in Canada means that the couple’s threat to sue, would be rare. “There have been others in the past,” said Fraser,” but we don’t have a celebrity culture in Canada so the laws have never been tested that way.”
The incident will raise questions about the couple’s decision to quit the U.K. due to the “bullying” British tabloids when they were rarely pursued by paparazzi photographers due to a long-standing agreement between the palace and editors following the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.
The agreement between palace and British editors had never extended to Canadian media, simply due to the lack of need, according to Fraser. “We don’t need it and hopefully we won’t need it,” said Fraser.
Now no longer members of the Royal family, the couple are being treated as “celebrities” in North America — which one paparazzo said was “like the wild west compared to Britain”.
One factor that could work out in the couple’s favour, according to Fraser, is the hope that as time goes on, the media value in photographing the couple’s life will fade. “How is the daily activity of two people and their kid of legitimate interest?” he said.
On one hand, asserting privacy lights could ironically bring more unwanted attention on the couple, said Fraser. However, at the same time, he understands their decision to respond, given their personal experience. “It seems to make sense to try and draw some lines, rather than to just sort of ride out, because maybe they know it’s not going to go away,” he said.
The statement to media will also raise questions over the couple’s publicly funded security, which is under review.
Yesterday, Robert Buckland, the Justice Secretary, expressed concern about the taxpayer continuing to fund the couple’s Metropolitan police protection officers, who are in Canada.
He said: “I am, of course, concerned to make sure that taxpayers’ money is used effectively in order to provide protection to people who are offering a service to the British public.”
Monday’s photographers, and others of the Duchess boarding a sea plane and then driving to the airport, were released by Backgrid picture agency and Splash News.
With files from the London Daily Telegraph
Aide: Media ignores Trump’s loving bond with 13-year-old son – CityNews Vancouver
WASHINGTON — A top aide to President Donald Trump complained Friday that the news media doesn’t pay enough attention to the president’s loving relationship with his 13-year-old son, Barron.
“The president’s just a really caring father and you don’t see that,” acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said during an appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference, an annual gathering for conservatives. “The press would never show you that because it doesn’t fit.“
Mulvaney said he noticed on his first trip with the president that Trump had called his son multiple times to check in and let him know when his helicopter would be returning to the White House.
The first lady’s office has requested that the media respect the privacy of the youngest of the president’s five children and discourages writing about him. Her office declined to comment on Mulvaney’s remarks.
The Associated Press
Kew Media’s Lenders Call In Debts, Pushing TV Group Closer To The Edge – Deadline
Kew Media Group’s lenders have called in the Canadian TV producer-distributor’s debts, pushing the company closer to the brink of collapse after it was delisted from the Toronto Stock Exchange last month.
In a statement issued to Kew Media Group’s investors on Friday, the company said Truist Bank has “demanded repayment of all amounts owing under the senior credit facilities,” adding that the bank intends to enforce its security under Canada’s Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act. The company’s net debt stood $117M, according to its most recent earnings.
“Following a 10-day notice period, Kew’s senior lenders may take steps to enforce on their security,” the statement added. It is the latest chapter in a disastrous downward spiral for the company after it defaulted on its credit facility last year because it filed “inaccurate” financial information.
Kew Media Group’s subsidiary, the once-thriving British sales house Kew Media Distribution, is also staring down the barrel of a winding-up order, with a court hearing set for next week. Producers including, Leaving Neverland indie Amos Pictures, are fighting to claw back the royalties they are owed from the international sales of their shows.
Other Kew Media Group subsidiaries have also been fleeing the sinking ship. The latest was Frantic Films today after CEO Jamie Brown bought back the company, which makes HGTV’s Backyard Builds. Others who have left the group include UK producer Two Rivers Media, while Dance Moms executive producer Jeff Collins left Kew-backed Collins Avenue Entertainment in January.
Networks Ramp Up Coronavirus Coverage As White House Accuses Media Of Fearmongering – Deadline
Networks are ramping up their coronavirus coverage, as concerns escalate of a worldwide spread, major public events are postponed or canceled, and Wall Street experienced its worst week since the 2008 financial crisis.
The White House contends that the media is raising unnecessary alarm about the virus and its spread in the U.S., even with the intent of hurting President Donald Trump.
As he headed out to a rally in South Carolina on Friday, Trump told reporters, “I think that CNN is a very disreputable network. I think that they are doing everything they can to instill fear in people.”
Earlier in the day, his acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, appeared at the Conservative Political Action Conference and told the crowd that “the reason you’re seeing so much attention to it today is that they think this is going to be the thing that brings down the president. That’s what this is all about it.”
Mulvaney advised people to tune out the news.
“I got a note today from a reporter saying, what are you going to do today to calm the markets?” he said. “Really what I might do today to calm the markets is tell people to turn their televisions off for 24 hours.”
The administration’s attacks on the media are not unusual. But they are coming at a time when public communication of accurate information is essential, if anything to reassure the country that the White House has a handle on the crisis and the risk is still very low.
Trump tried to assuage fears on Wednesday by holding a briefing where he announced that Vice President Mike Pence would be leading the administration’s effort to contain the disease.
But markets continued to slide on Thursday and Friday — the S&P and Dow Jones were down by more than 10% for the week. Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell issued a statement to try to calm nerves, saying that “we will use our tools and act as appropriate to support the economy.” But he said that the virus poses “evolving risks to economic activity.”
Trump defended the administration’s response, noting that the administration placed limits weeks ago on travel from China that limited its spread in the U.S.
“Some people are giving us credit for that and some people aren’t. But the only ones who aren’t, they don’t mean it. It’s political. It’s politics,” Trump told reporters.
Pence went on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show on Friday, where he said that the threat of the coronavirus spreading in the U.S. “remains low.”
“With that being said, out of an abundance of caution, we are going to continue to take very, very strong measures and to put the health and safety of the American people first,” he said.
Earlier in the week, Limbaugh claimed that the coronavirus was being “weaponized as yet another element to bring down Donald Trump.” Pence told him that he has been speaking to Democratic leaders and governors like Gavin Newsom in California, and that “we’re all in this together.”
Meanwhile, networks are announcing plans to boost their coverage of the coronavirus.
NBC News launched a live blog with feed from the network’s medical, business, political and investigative reporters and updates on known cases and new infections. They also are doing a morning newsletter, Morning Rundown Special Edition: Coronavirus Crisis, starting on Monday, with updates from medical correspondent Dr. John Torres and on business ramifications from Ali Velshi. The newsletter also will provide tips to readers.
Among other highlights, Pence will appear on Meet the Press on Sunday, and investigative and consumer correspondent Vicky Nguyen will answer questions from viewers on Today on Monday.
Fox News is presenting a coronavirus special at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday featuring Leland Vittert.
While increasing their focus on the virus, media outlets also have provided a bit of context.
ABC News’ chief medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton co-hosted ABC’s The View on Friday, where she noted the greater threat currently posed by flu season and addressed misinformation about the disease.
Among the topics: The idea that Americans should be wearing surgical masks. “They are not to protect the healthy from something coming in,” she said, noting that the Centers for Disease Control was not recommending that the average American wear them now.
“Right now, according to the CDC, this is a highly transmissible virus with a low mortality or fatality rate and that’s really important right now,” she said.
She added, “One of the biggest problems with this story is where people get information and where people get misinformation, and you have to get your information from credible, credentialed sources. If you don’t, not only does it not do you any good, it can actually endanger public health and the response.”
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