(UPDATED WITH STATEMENT FROM MEGHAN MARKLE’S LAWYERS) While a London judge today dismissed a chunk of a lawsuit brought by Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, against the UK tabloid Mail on Sunday for publishing excepts of a letter to her father, the former Suits star vows to “move forward.”
“The Duchess’ rights were violated; the legal boundaries around privacy were crossed,” law firm Schillings declared after Judge Mark Warby on Friday dismissed claims that Associated Newspapers acted “dishonestly” by quoting only passages of the letter in question. The London-based judge also tossed out allegations that the Daily Mail publisher inflated a dispute between Markle and her father, Thomas Markle, as part of an effort to write negative stories about her.
Prince Harry & Meghan Markle Sever Ties With British Tabloid Newspapers In Brutal Letter
Still, having lost their legal footing a bit, Markle’s team announced that “today’s ruling makes very clear that the core elements of this case do not change” and went on the offense in response.
“As part of this process, the extremes to which the Mail on Sunday used distortive, manipulative, and dishonest tactics to target the Duchess of Sussex have been put on full display,” a spokesperson for the high priced lawyers noted of the October 2019 filed case so far. “Whilst the judge recognizes that there is a claim for breach of privacy and copyright, we are surprised to see that his ruling suggests that dishonest behaviour is not relevant,” they added.
“Nonetheless, we respect the judge’s decision as the strong case against Associated will continue to focus on the issue of a private, intimate and hand-written letter from a daughter to her father that was published by The Mail on Sunday,” Schillings proclaimed. “This gross violation of any person’s right to privacy is obvious and unlawful, and The Mail on Sunday should be held to account for their actions.”
The lawsuit put in the docket last fall against Associated Newspapers cited invasion of privacy and copyright infringement for the publication of the letter in August 2018, after she had married Prince Harry.
Today Judge Warby additionally said those portions of the correspondence between Markle and her sometimes estranged father were not relevant to the suit, which claims the tab illegally used private information and breached the UK’s Data Protection Act. In an act of some comfort to the Duchess, the judge did say the dismissed portions of the matter could be revisited as the case progresses, especially if it goes to trial.
Associated Newspapers, which also owns the often fire starting tabloid Daily Mail, as well as MailOnline and Metro, has denied all charges in the suit. With Markle on the hook for the costs so far, it is estimated by the Mail itself that the daughter-in-law to the next King of England may have to pay out around $63,000 as of right now – though this this battle royale is apparently far from over.
Reps for Associated Newspapers did not respond to request for comment on today’s ruling or the reaction from Markle’s legal team.
Markle and Prince Harry, who have essentially split from the UK Royal Family, have been scrapping with the UK tabs over coverage of them, with Harry engaged in a separate lawsuit against Rupert Murdoch’s The Sun and the owners of fellow tabloid The Daily Mirror claiming they hacked his voicemail messages. Stepping back from their official roles, the new-ish parents first hunkered down near Vancouver, but have relocated to Southern California in recent weeks.
Long a regular on USA Network’s legal drama Suits, the now Duchess also recently voiced the documentary Elephant for the House of Mouse …a deal seeming first ventured on the red carpet when she and Harry met Disney boss Bob Iger last year.
— Disney+ (@disneyplus) March 26, 2020
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