The Sussexes settled with X17 over the paparazzi-drone photos of Archie

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle continue their visit to Africa

Before the Duke and Duchess of Sussex purchased their Montecito mansion with its eleventy billion bathrooms, they were staying at Tyler Perry’s LA mansion. They were there for months, pretty much from late March until late August, into September, when they moved to Montecito. During that time, the British media made sure to put a target on the Sussexes’ backs, and many American and international paparazzi agencies took note. There were stories about paparazzi cutting into fences to get photos, and there were incidents involving paparazzi-flown drones over the Tyler Perry-owned property. In July, Harry and Meghan sued a “John Doe paparazzo” for some of the drone photos being shopped around to international outlets – the photos were of Doria Ragland and Archie in the backyard. Well… they won. Or rather, they settled with the pap agency.

The case of the unauthorized backyard photographs of Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor has been solved. And the legal outcome, unveiled on Thursday by his parents, Prince Harry and Meghan, has left one of Hollywood’s biggest paparazzi agencies with its tail between its legs.

In July, the couple filed an invasion-of-privacy lawsuit over photographs taken with a drone and zoom cameras of the 14-month-old Archie as he played with his maternal grandmother in their backyard. At the time, the family was staying at a secluded estate in Beverly Hills owned by the entertainment mogul Tyler Perry. They did not name the defendants in the lawsuit because they did not know who they were.

The filing allowed their lawyer, Michael J. Kump, to send fact-finding subpoenas to the three biggest celebrity news agencies in Los Angeles: Backgrid, Splash News and X17. The culprit turned out to be X17, which, according to a settlement agreement filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, has agreed to turn over the photos to the family, destroy any copies in its archives or databases and never again traffic in any photos of the couple or their son taken by similar means “in any private residence or the surrounding private grounds.”

X17 will also pay a portion of the family’s legal fees, according to Mr. Kump. In blunt terms, Harry and Meghan, who have clashed repeatedly with the British news media over privacy concerns, sent a stark message to American paparazzi agencies with the case: You come after us, and we will come after you.

“We apologize to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and their son for the distress we have caused,” X17 said in a statement. “We were wrong to offer these photographs and commit to not doing so again.” Mr. Kump said in a statement, “All families have a right, protected by law, to feel safe and secure at home.”

In the X17 case, Harry and Meghan discovered that someone was shopping photos of their son to outlets around the world and had claimed they had been taken in public, according to the complaint, which noted that Archie had not been in public since the family arrived in Southern California. The photographs were published in the German magazine Bunte. Lawyers for the couple were able to move quickly enough to prevent their publication in the United States and Britain, however.

[From The NY Times]

A good resolution to a pretty cut-and-dry case. If it’s against the law for a paparazzo to climb your property’s fence and take photos of you on your property, then it’s against the law for a photo agency to fly a drone over your property and take photos of your child. I wonder what kind of financial settlement was involved – the Times says X17 is paying a “portion” of the Sussexes’ legal fees, but that could be because Harry and Meghan got a larger settlement for damages. Anyway, good on them.

Also: Harry & Meghan were seen out and about in Montecito last night – they dined with Katharine McPhee (who is pregnant) and David Foster. The British tabloids have been trying to make “David and Harry are super-close” into a thing for a while, but I always thought they were more like casual friends? Who knows.

archie harry2

Photos courtesy of social media, Backgrid.

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46 Responses to “The Sussexes settled with X17 over the paparazzi-drone photos of Archie”

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  1. LindaS says:

    That is a very strange whatever it is Meghan is wearing. I think its a rumpled coat.

    • janey jane says:

      Is she hiding something possibly?

      • Snuffles says:

        I think she’s hiding something. I think it’s nice she’s getting to know an old childhood friend again. Remember they did theater together in high school.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        I thought she look as if she was hiding something too but it may just be the angle of the photograph.

      • Chris says:

        I believe she is.

      • HeyJude says:

        Flouncy large open coat, baggy sweater, Harry’s protectively aiding her with a hand on the back.

        Might be.

        Oh, I hope it’s so, my how the British papers would lose their minds. An American born blood Prince/Princess, an American born 8th in line! Piers Morgan might have an actual heart attack.

    • Valiantly Varnished says:

      She’s wearing a sweater and jeans with her coat over her shoulders. What’s strange about that?

    • equality says:

      Judging by how Harry is dressed, it is obviously a casual event. Clothes do get wrinkled sitting in cars.

  2. PEARL GREY says:

    Nobody has the right to use illegal means to take pictures of anybody on their private property without their consent or knowledge at any time, for any reason, no matter who they are. The trolls can play obtuse and pretend they don’t understand the concept of privacy all they want, but this agency broke the law and those are the facts.

    Being in the public eye and wanting privacy doesn’t mean you should lose the right to share information or images of yourself if and when you choose. Privacy is about being in control of what you disclose about yourself and your life and doing so at your own discretion, not having it invaded and intruded upon by outside parties.

    Congratulations to Harry and Meghan on another victory against the voyeur vultures.

    • Britt says:

      I love that the US media are staying away and giving them boundaries. The American press know its better to have a money making force like Harry and Meghan embrace them instead of cutting them off. As I said before, they won’t fumble the bag like the BM did. Moving to America was the best decision they ever made because the American paparazzi and press have their moments but they don’t search and court lawsuits.

      • sarah says:

        Bit sceptical about this. Highly unlikely that unauthorised photos of a child would be published in any British outlet due to ECHR laws. Pap shots of celeb kids that are run in US media are not blurred out in UK outlets. As a result it just seems unlikely that the British media is behind this, these type of photos normally end up in Aussie outlets like New Day, or the like.

    • Myra says:

      I’m glad they won. Boundaries were set and I doubt there would be a repeat. I was dismayed when one of the broadsheet UK newspapers published a frontpage bounty for photos of them in their homes.

    • Nic919 says:

      It was clear cut against the law in California to take photos of Archie in Tyler Perry’s backyard and the American companies weren’t going to be so stupid as to waste money doing it.

  3. CidyKitty(CidySmiley) says:

    I love her chill colors. She looks great in neutrals because she knows how to style them which can be tricky, a lot of folks try to throw something bright on there but you don’t have to.

    I look terrible in neutrals and I think it is because I style it wrong? Her clothes are amazing, she keeps it loose and casual and yet it looks very purposeful.

    • Valiantly Varnished says:

      She is wearing something bright though. Her shoes are red high heel mules. It’s a cute look.

      • CidyKitty(CidySmiley) says:

        I didn’t notice her shoes! Still a cute outfit. I always throw a bright color on and ruin it lol.

    • ItReallyIsYouNotMe says:

      I think the trick to neutrals is to buy well-made things that come in sets so the shade matches? I have never been able to make neutrals work because 1) I live in hot weather so I only get to wear layers about 3 days out of the year 2) I don’t want to spend a lot of money on things I barely get to wear. But I aspire to one day be the polished elderly lady who can rock winter white or tan slacks and a matching sweater.

    • lara (the other) says:

      One trick ist to find the right neutrals. Even with neurals there is a palette according to your skin and hair type. For me it is black white and grey, I look like hell in cream, fawn or blue.

  4. Britt says:

    Katherine McPhee said that David and Harry have a Father-son dynamic in their friendship and the British tabloids have been running with that for months. Making into a supposed dig to Charles. The tabloids are going after anyone associated with them, which is why it’s important for them not even answer questions anymore. Like Serena. I wouldn’t be surprised if they’ve been trying to harass the Fosters as well. That’s how desperate they are for gossip and access.

  5. Angel says:

    Love to see them finally win something against the press.

  6. Wiglet Watcher says:

    Has the BM freaked out about this yet?

  7. Oh says:

    look how US respect them?? the UK would never

  8. Aurora says:

    I noticed the tabloids claimed they were out with the Fosters but are there any actual photos of the couple together in the same frame? It feels like a narrative is being pushed with very tenuous evidence.

    • Aa says:

      Not opening the Daily Mail, but I remember when Harry and Meghan had an intimate couples dinner with Arod and JLo and it turned out they were seated at the same group table for dinner at that Miami speaking event.

  9. S808 says:

    There aren’t any photos of the fosters which is weird? Not sure I believe they were out with them?

    • Nic919 says:

      It’s the DM. It’s a safe bet they made some things up.

    • fluffy_bunny says:

      Katherine is pregnant so she might not feel safe dining out. I’m not sure what it’s like in California but I don’t feel safe dining out in NC and I’m not considered high risk.

    • sara says:

      There are picture of Katherine getting out of a car

      • Likeyoucare says:

        Emmmm i think katherine called the paparazzi. No one will care about her pregnancy unless the story is attach with sussex.

  10. RoyalBlue says:

    YES! happy they got a win. I wish we knew how much it was. Hey, if the press want to keep harassing them, they can keep suing and finance their lifestyle.

  11. Edna says:

    Good to hear H&M won their lawsuit. I don’t think they have to worry as much about the American based paparazzi cause laws are in place and enforced.

    So the Daily Fail is stalking them in Montecito? Man, the desperation to gain any info on the irrelevant 6th in line and his actress wife is over the top. Frightening.

  12. equality says:

    Now wait for all of the articles speculating how much they got in the settlement and acting like it is everybody’s business what they do with the money.

  13. FancyPants says:

    Wouldn’t it be ironic if all the tabloids insisting H&M are broke and have no income and need to go groveling home turn into a guaranteed source of revenue of sorts for H&M as they continually win lawsuits against the tabloids?

  14. Sofia says:

    Good on the paparazzi photos. Now onto the dinner date, as I said on another post, I hope that this relationship is just a casual one because Katharine and David are both sh*tty people but Meghan and Harry have both been around plenty of those so either a) they don’t realise it which I honestly doubt b) they’re used to it so they don’t really care.

  15. ShazBot says:

    A) didn’t they move to montecito in July?
    B) aren’t the fosters big time Trumpers? I swear I saw that they donate to him monthly.

  16. Gunna says:

    The Fosters? I hope that’s not true. At this point there’s no excuse for being friendly with Trump fundraisers.

  17. Laughysaphy says:

    Kudos to them for wearing masks! The bar is so low at this point.

  18. L4frimaire says:

    I miss going to a good steakhouse. Will have to see if any open in my area for outdoor dining. Do we really know is who they were dining with?We see Meghan and Harry, but not anyone else, so we’re they actually there with the Fosters? Maybe Meghan got them to switch to Biden/Harris, lol. It seems everytime a celebrity spotted up there, the tabloids think they’re going to Meghan and Harry’s house. What’s up with the coat and loose sweater? I wonder🤔? Also, good for them on the paparazzi photos. Shouldn’t be stalking their house.

    • fluffy_bunny says:

      Have you checked to see if any of yours are doing raw steaks and you grill them at home? My Saturday night steakhouse does that and we’ve been buying them raw since March. It’s much better than buying a steak at the grocery store because these ones are aged, wrapped in bacon and come with a rub to put on them. We get a side of mashed potatoes and bread and we are all set. I know of another steak and seafood place that is also offering raw items to cook at home.

      • Le4Frimaire says:

        @FluffyBunny, that sounds so good. Will definitely check it out. My favorite place does curbside boxes but it’s not cheap. Will be a nice splurge. I think people were checking out Meghan’s outfit and I was looking at the restaurants menu, lol.

      • fluffy_bunny says:

        @Le4, we’ve actually cut our Saturday night dinner bill more than in half because it’s only $12.99 for the raw steak and they charge $27.99 for it cooked with a side. And wine is cheaper when you drink it at home.

  19. BnLurkN4eva says:

    I’m happy they won their lawsuit. Everyone deserves privacy and H/M have been generous with sharing themselves when they are doing events. There’s no need to trespass on their private times in their homes especially with regards their son. Again, I hope they weren’t meeting those two, but if a friendship exist and McPhee is to be believed, it seems the friendship is between David and Harry.

  20. Mariane says:

    Happy they won but @Kaiser the DM photos looked different than katherine’s photos. I googled them and saw that they used katherine’s pictures for an old article. DM is lying because they want to prove their story about Meghan and Katherine being BFF and david being a father figure for harry and all that nonsense. If it was true we wouldve seen McPhee gloating about this or waving!!
    Glad to see Harry and Meghan happy. Hope they’re enjoying their time. Theyll be busy this coming week