The Sun U.S. hired private investigator Dan Hanks to obtain information about Markle, and her father Thomas, in 2016, shortly after she started dating Prince Harry, according to a report by Byline Investigates.
“Hanks obtained the Markles’ private information by deception, including their social security numbers — a criminal offence in the U.S. as it is in the U.K.,” the report alleges. “Six of their private phone numbers were also gotten from a protected database, including Meghan’s mobile. Within days, The Sun had published an article quoting an anonymous ‘friend,’ claiming that Prince Harry had ‘bombarded Meghan with texts’ prior to their first date.”
The report, published Thursday, also states that the tabloid frenzy around the Markles eventually led to a rift in the family. “The Sun also tried to ‘dig some dirt’ on the Duchess of Sussex, by tasking Hanks to track down her ex-husband, and two of her rumoured former boyfriends,” the report says. “But it appears that they couldn’t find any scandal on the ‘Suits’ actress, and instead used Hanks’ dossier to target distant relatives, who sniped at her success.”
A spokesperson for The Duke and Duchess of Sussex said in a statement emailed to Variety that the couple “feel that today is an important moment of reflection for…