Meghan Markle wins High Court battle over emotional letter sent to her dad
The Duchess of Sussex has won her High Court privacy claim against the Mail On Sunday over the publication of a “personal and private” handwritten letter to her estranged father.
Meghan, 39, sued Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL), the publisher of The Mail On Sunday and MailOnline, over a series of articles which reproduced parts of the letter sent to 76-year-old Thomas Markle in August 2018.
She is seeking damages for alleged misuse of private information, copyright infringement and breach of the Data Protection Act over five articles published in February 2019, which included extracts from the letter.
Her lawyers argued, at a hearing in January, that ANL has “no prospect” of defending her claim for misuse of private information and breach of copyright.
They asked the High Court to grant “summary judgment” in relation to those claims, a legal step which would see those parts of the case resolved without a trial.
In a judgment on Thursday, Mr Justice Warby granted Meghan “summary judgment” in her claim for misuse of private information.
The judge said: “The claimant had a reasonable expectation that the contents of the letter would remain private.
“The Mail articles interfered with that reasonable expectation.”
He said that “the only tenable justification for any such interference was to correct some inaccuracies about the letter”, contained in an article in People magazine which featured an interview with five friends of Meghan.
Today in court Mr Justice Warby added: “The inescapable conclusion is that, save to the very limited extent I have identified, the disclosures made were not a necessary or proportionate means of serving that purpose.
“For the most part they did not serve that purpose at all. Taken as a whole the disclosures were manifestly excessive and hence unlawful.”
However, Mr Justice Warby decided that Meghan must face a full trial if she wants to challenge the issue of copyright of her letter to her estranged father Thomas Markle…..read more