Mail on Sunday loses privacy case against Meghan Markle
The Mail on Sunday has lost its privacy case against Meghan Markle after it printed extracts of a letter she sent to her estranged father.
A judge at the High Court today granted Markle a so-called summary judgement in her case against Associated Newspapers, part of Daily Mail and General Trust.
The Duchess of Sussex had requested that the case be fast-tracked to a judgement to avoid a potentially embarrassing trial.
Judge Mark Warby ruled that the tabloid’s decision to publish parts of the handwritten letter did breach Markle’s privacy.
However, he said issues relating to her copyright of the letter would have to be settled at trial.
The case relates to five articles published in the Mail on Sunday, with the Duchess claiming damages for misuse of private information, as well as copyright and data privacy breaches.
Steven Heffer, partner and head of media & privacy at Collyer Bristow, described the judgement as a “major victory”.
“The newspaper was hoping to cross-examine four royal aides about alleged involvement in the drafting of Meghan’s letter and allegations that Meghan had provided private information to the authors of a controversial book,” he said. “They will now be deprived of that and continuing drama of the court case.”
It is unclear whether Associated Newspapers will appeal the judgement.
Alongside husband Prince Harry, Markle has been locked in a battle with the British press over claims of false and misleading coverage.
Harry was last week granted “substantial damages” after winning a separate case against the Mail on Sunday over an article that claimed he turned his back on the military after stepping down as a senior royal.
The couple, who have struck lucrative deals with Spotify and Netflix to make podcasts and documentaries, have said they will no longer engage with the Mail — as well as tabloid rivals the Sun, Mirror and Express — in response to perceived invasions of privacy in their coverage.