This is why Prince Harry dropped libel case against Daily Mail

The action will leave him on the hook to pay the publisher's legal fees

APTOPIX Britain Prince Harry Legal Cases (FILE )Prince Harry arrives at the High Court in London | AP

Prince Harry on Friday dropped his libel lawsuit against the publisher of the Daily Mail tabloid following a ruling in which a judge cast doubt on his case.

Lawyers for the Duke of Sussex told the High Court in London that he was withdrawing the suit against Associated Newspapers Ltd.

No reason was given, but it came the day he was due to hand over documents in the case and after a punishing ruling last month in which a judge ordered Harry to pay the publisher nearly 50,000 pounds (more than USD 60,000) in legal fees after he failed to achieve victory without going to trial.

The action will leave him on the hook to pay the publisher's legal fees, which the the Daily Mail reported to be 250,000 pounds (USD 3,16,000).

The case involved a Mail on Sunday article that said Harry tried to hide his efforts to retain publicly funded protection in the UK after walking away from his role as a working member of the royal family.

He had sought summary judgment to win the case without going to trial and tried to knock out the Mail's defense but a judge didn't buy it.

Justice Matthew Nicklin ruled December 8 that the publisher had a real prospect of showing statements issued on Harry's behalf were misleading and that the February 2022 article reflected an honest opinion and wasn't libelous.

The defendant may well submit that this was a master class in the art of spinning,' Nicklin wrote, in refusing to strike the honest opinion defense.

Harry, 39, the estranged younger son of King Charles III, has broken ranks with the royal family in going to court in his battles with the British press.

Associated Newspapers is one of three tabloid publishers he's suing over claims they used unlawful means, such as deception, phone hacking or hiring private investigators, to try to dig up dirt on him.

He also has a lawsuit pending against the government's decision to protect him on a case-by-case basis when he visits Britain. He claims that hostility toward him and his wife on social media and relentless hounding by the news media threaten their safety. He cited media intrusion for his decision to leave life as a senior royal and move to the US.

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