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Meghan Markle Wins Privacy Lawsuit against Tabloid — Everything We Know

Junie Sihlangu
Feb 12, 2021
05:10 A.M.
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This week, Duchess Meghan had her copyright and privacy infringement court case for articles that were published in 2019. The royal won her claim against the publication she was up against.

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On Thursday, Duchess Meghan’s copyright and privacy infringement case finally went to court. The case, which was held remotely, was between the royal and Associated Newspapers Limited.

The defendant is the publisher of the “Mail on Sunday.” In May 2018, Meghan officially became a royal when she got married to Prince Harry, but her father, Thomas Markle, failed to pitch to the wedding.

Meghan Markle at the DPA pre-Emmy Gift Lounge on September 18, 2009, in Beverly Hills, California | Photo: Amanda Edwards/Getty Images

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Instead, he wrote handwritten letters to her, and in February 2019, “Mail on Sunday” published five articles featuring reproduced parts of the letters. Meghan won the case against the publishers.

The case was held in the UK and presided over by Judge Mark Warby. In his ruling, he noted how the royal "had a reasonable expectation that the contents of the letter would remain private.”

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Warby also felt the published articles had “interfered with that reasonable expectation." He also ruled that the publishers had infringed on the letter’s copyrights, which belonged to Meghan.

The outstanding matters that the royal has brought forward will be handled in a hearing. The judge recommended that the hearing should take place soon and without delay on March 2, 2021.

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Warby also noted how the copyright infringement question would probably only impact the size of the financial damages Meghan would receive. Her case also has a third part that needs to be addressed.

The court still needs to decide what to do about the alleged data privacy violations that the Duchess faced. In a statement, the royal shared her gratitude for the court’s ruling.

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She was pleased that the publishers and the “Mail on Sunday” were finally held to account. Meghan noted how the defendant’s tactics weren’t anything new and that they'd carried on for long without facing consequences.

She felt it was just a game for the tabloids to use people's lives as they wished, while for her, their actions affected her life. The Duchess shared how the damage they had done ran deep for her personally.

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A “Mail on Sunday” spokesperson revealed their surprise and disappointment at the judge’s ruling. They felt they’d been denied the opportunity to present all their evidence at a full trial.

For now, they are examining the judgment and will decide whether they want to appeal or not. The case was initially going to be heard on January 11, 2020, but Meghan’s legal team filed for a delay.

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