In a lawsuit for copyright infringement against Associated Newspapers Ltd. on Wednesday, Meghan Markle has fought to keep the names of five friends who acted as a source to the newspaper group anonymous. 

Markle is suing Associated Newspapers Ltd. at Britain’s High Court for its published works in newspaper The Mail on Sunday and website Mail Online for five articles that included parts of a handwritten letter that Markle had wrote to Thomas Markle, her estranged father. The letter was from around the time that Markle had married Prince Harry in 2018. Markle’s lawyers stated that the letter was “a flagrant and unjustified intrusion into her private and family life.”

The lawsuit is for misuse of private information, copyright infringement and data protection breaches. 

Markle’s attorney Justin Rushbrooke argued for the privacy of the women involved. He said that the court should “protect the identity of confidential journalistic sources.” He explained that at the time of the interviews where the women spoke to journalists from Associated Newspapers Ltd. they were worried about the negative press on Markle as she was pregnant at the time. Rushbrooke stated that the High Court should protect “the innocent party who fears intrusion.”


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The Mail on Sunday’s lawyer Antony White argued that this would go against open justice, which is the public’s right to know. He said that the issue is “vitally important open justice principle.” He wrote, “The friends are important potential witnesses on a key issue.” He added that it “would be a heavy curtailment of the media’s and the defendant’s entitlement to report this case and the public’s right to know about it.”

Markle did not appear in court but gave a written witness statement, “each of these women is a private citizen, young mother, and each has a basic right to privacy.” She added, “These five women are not on trial, and nor am I. The publisher of the Mail on Sunday is the one on trial. It is this publisher that acted unlawfully and is attempting to evade accountability; to create a circus and distract from the point of this case – that the Mail on Sunday unlawfully published my private letter.”

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