Meghan Markle Scores Victory In Court But Says The Damage Inflicted ‘Runs Deep’
Meghan Markle scored a win in court for the privacy lawsuit against Associated Newspapers for publishing a private letter to her father.
Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, scored a huge victory on Thursday when she came out victorious in her privacy case against Associated Newspapers (ANL). ANL is the publisher of The Mail on Sunday and MailOnline, the outlets that published Meghan’s letter.
Markle said afterward that the damage that was done by this publication “runs deep.”
Judge Gives Meghan Markle Victory Over The Mail In Privacy Lawsuit
The BBC reported that Meghan had sued the publication for publishing excerpts from a letter that she wrote to her father after her wedding to Prince Harry. She said the contents of the letter was meant to be private.
She filed the over five articles from February 2019. These articles included portions of a handwritten letter she wrote to her father after he was a no-show at her royal wedding to Prince Harry in May 2018.
Mark Warby, a High Court judge in London, ruled in Meghan’s favor saying that the wife of Prince Harry had a “reasonable expectation that the contents of the letter would remain private.”
Meghan was granted a “summary judgment” by the judge, which means that part of the case is resolved without a trial.
The judge has scheduled a hearing for next month to decide “the next steps” in the legal action.
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In his judgement, Warby blasted Associated Newspapers for publishing the letter in August of 2018, saying that doing so was “manifestly excessive and hence unlawful.”
“It was, in short, a personal and private letter,” he said. “The majority of what was published was about the claimant’s own behavior, her feelings of anguish about her father’s behavior – as she saw it – and the resulting rift between them.”
“These are inherently private and personal matters,” Warby continued. “There is no prospect that a different judgment would be reached after a trial.”
Meghan Markle Responds To Win In Court Against The Mail
Meghan was quick to celebrate this as a win, claiming that this case was bigger than just herself.
She thanked the court for holding Associated Newspapers accountable “for their illegal and dehumanizing practices.”
“For these outlets, it’s a game. For me and so many others, it’s real life, real relationships, and very real sadness,” she said. “The damage they have done and continue to do runs deep.”
Meghan went on to say that her “comprehensive win” means “we have all won.”
“We now know, and hope it creates legal precedent, that you cannot take somebody’s privacy and exploit it in a privacy case, as the defendant has blatantly done over the past two years,” she added.
She added, “I share this victory with each of you—because we all deserve justice and truth, and we all deserve better. I particularly want to thank my husband, mom, and legal team, and especially Jenny Afia for her unrelenting support throughout this process.”
This May Not Be Over Yet
Associated Newspapers released a statement indicating that while Meghan has won this battle, the war may not be over yet.
“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,” the spokesperson said. “We are carefully considering the judgment’s contents and will decide in due course whether to lodge an appeal.”
Media lawyer Mark Stephens predicted that Associated Newspapers will file an appeal “to have a more definitive ruling on what the law is going forward.”
“If you can’t effectively report on leaked letters then in those circumstances the media holding people to account is going to be hampered,” he said. “Essentially this judgement in its widest context puts manacles on the media.”
Given the fact that freedom of the press laws in the United States would seemingly ensure that the press here has every right to publish such a letter, it’s a bit puzzling that an American like Meghan Markle was so aghast by what Associated Newspapers did.
It will certainly be interesting to see how this case proceeds, should the Associated Newspapers file an appeal.