Prince Harry officially confirmed he's been dating American actress Meghan Markle for "a few months"—a confirmation accompanied by a warning that "a line has been crossed." In what Time calls an "unprecedented public statement" issued at the prince's behest, the royal's rep says "his girlfriend, Meghan Markle, has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment" since news of their romance broke. Reporters and photographers have tried to break into Markle's home, Markle's ex-boyfriend has been offered "substantial bribes" by the media, and almost everyone Markle knows has been bombarded in some way, the statement reads.
"Nightly legal battles" have been waged "to keep defamatory stories out of papers," but that hasn't stopped "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." (USA Today reports the 35-year-old's mother is black and her father is Dutch and Irish.) "It is not right … Prince Harry is worried about Ms. Markle's safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her," it continues. "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." Read the statement in full here, or more on their relationship here. (Read more Prince Harry stories.)