Court dismisses tabloid’s appeal in win for Meghan

U.S. and World

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend a reception for young people at the Palace of Holyroodhouse on February 13, 2018 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Andrew Milligan – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

(The Hill) — The Court of Appeal in London dismissed a tabloid newspaper’s challenge to a ruling that it had breached the privacy of Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, by publishing parts of a letter she wrote to her estranged father.

The publisher for The Mail on Sunday and the MailOnline, Associated Newspapers, looked to overturn a February ruling that found that it infringed Meghan’s privacy and copyright after it published parts of a letter that she wrote to her father, Thomas Markle, after she married Prince Harry in 2018, according to The Associated Press.

The ruling is a win for the duchess, as it spares her and her father from appearing at a trial to provide evidence.

Senior Judge Geoffrey Vos reportedly told the court that “the Duchess had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the contents of the letter. Those contents were personal, private and not matters of legitimate public interest.”

“This is a victory not just for me, but for anyone who has ever felt scared to stand up for what’s right,” Meghan said in a statement.

“While this win is precedent-setting, what matters most is that we are now collectively brave enough to reshape a tabloid industry that conditions people to be cruel, and profits from the lies and pain that they create,” she added.

The Associated Newspapers disputed Meghan’s claim that she didn’t want the letter seen by anyone but her father, saying communication between Meghan and her then-communications secretary, Jason Knauf, showed she suspected her father might leak it to journalists and possibly wrote it with that in mind, the AP notes. 

The publisher also argued that it was her father’s right to reply to a People Magazine interview in which a friend of Meghan’s alleged that he was “cruelly cold-shouldering” his daughter.

However, Vos said the article “splashed as a new public revelation” and did not focus on Thomas Markle’s response to the negative press.

Meghan condemned Associated Newspapers, saying they treated the lawsuit as “a game with no rules.”

“The longer they dragged it out, the more they could twist facts and manipulate the public (even during the appeal itself), making a straightforward case extraordinarily convoluted in order to generate more headlines and sell more newspapers — a model that rewards chaos above truth,” she said in the statement.

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