Prince Harry speaks during the opening ceremony of the 2016 Invictus Games in Orlando, Fla., on May 8. He released a statement confirming his relationship with actress Meghan Markle and condemned the "abuse and harassment" she's received since the news broke. File Photo by EJ Hersom/DoD/UPI | License Photo
LONDON, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- Prince Harry confirmed his relationship with actress Meghan Markle in a statement condemning the "abuse and harassment" Markle has received since news of the relationship was made public.
Prince Harry, 32, and Suits star Markle, 35, have reportedly been dating for several months.
In a statement released by the prince's communications secretary, he condemned the negative backlash against Markle and subsequent harassment she's had to endure.
"The past week has seen a line crossed," the statement read. "His girlfriend, Meghan Markle, has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment. 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."
According to the release, Prince Harry fears for Markle's safety.
"Prince Harry is worried about Ms. Markle's safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her. It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm. He knows commentators will say this is 'the price she has to pay' and that 'this is all part of the game.' He strongly disagrees. This is not a game -- it is her life and his.
"He has asked for this statement to be issued in the hopes that those in the press who have been driving this story can pause and reflect before any further damage is done. He knows that it is unusual to issue a statement like this, but hopes that fair-minded people will understand why he has felt it necessary to speak publicly."
Markle has not released a statement about the relationship.