Harry’s rare statement was released by Kensington Palace early this month after Markle, 35, received a slew of negative attention online and in British tabloids.
“Meghan Markle, has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment,” the palace said in the statement, confirming the relationship publicly just weeks after rumors first popped up. “Some of this has been very public — the smear on the front page of a national newspaper; the racial undertones of comment pieces; and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments.
"Some of it has been hidden from the public — the nightly legal battles to keep defamatory stories out of papers; her mother having to struggle past photographers in order to get to her front door; the attempts of reporters and photographers to gain illegal entry to her home and the calls to police that followed; the substantial bribes offered by papers to her ex-boyfriend; the bombardment of nearly every friend, co-worker, and loved one in her life.”
The statement ended with Harry pleading with the press and public to respect Markle’s privacy and safety.
Despite all the drama, Markle has hopes for a future together. A friend previously told WHO the American actress is “head over heels” for the royal and “doing everything she can to make the relationship work.”
“It’s been an absolute fairy tale for Meghan,” the insider says.
This article originally appeared on PEOPLE.com