Meghan Markle Wins Lawsuit Against British Tabloid, Judge Rules That Her Privacy Was Invaded
A British Judge ruled on Thursday that Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex’s, privacy was breached by the British newspaper The Mail on Sunday. Markle sued Associated Newspapers after they published five articles in 2019 that included large portions of a private letter Markle sent to her estranged father
High Court judge Mark Warby ruled that Markle’s private information was misused and her copyright was infringed. He said she “had a reasonable expectation that the contents of the letter would remain private. The Mail articles interfered with that reasonable expectation.”
Markle said she was grateful the court held the publisher accountable “for their illegal and dehumanizing practices.”
“The world needs reliable, fact-checked, high-quality news. What The Mail on Sunday and its partner publications do is the opposite … with this comprehensive win on both privacy and copyright, we have all won,” she said.
“[We are] very surprised by today’s summary judgment and disappointed at being denied the chance to have all the evidence heard and tested in open court at a full trial,” Associated newspaper said in a statement. “We are carefully considering the judgment’s contents and will decide in due course whether to lodge an appeal.”
In May 2020, Markle faced a setback with the trial when Warby ruled that the publisher would not be judged on whether it had acted dishonestly, had stirred up conflict between Markle and her father or had published offensive and intrusive articles about the Duchess.
There was supposed to be a trial in the fall for the case, but Markle’s lawyers asked for a summary judgement and to settle the case without a trial. The judge granted the request saying the publisher’s use of the letter was “excessive” and “unlawful.”
Markle sent the letter to her father, Thomas Markle, after he failed to attend her wedding in 2018. The letter talks about how her heart was broken that he spoke to tabloids while the two were estranged.
“For these outlets, it’s a game,” Meghan said in a statement after the ruling. “For me and so many others, it’s real life, real relationships, and very real sadness. The damage they have done and continue to do runs deep.”
The defense argued Meghan wrote the letter as a media strategy to counter interviews her father had done. They argued that Jason Knauf, Prince Harry and Meghan’s former communications director, co-wrote the letter. Markle will likely face a limited trial for this issue, although the judge said it is unlikely that argument will be convincing.