Meghan Markle Loses First Round of Claim v. Pa­per

Fiji Sun - - WORLD NEWS - Meghan Markle.

The Duchess of Sus­sex has lost an early round in her pri­vacy case against the pub­lisher of a Bri­tish news­pa­per that pub­lished ex­cerpts of a let­ter to her es­tranged fa­ther.

The case

Meghan sued As­so­ci­ated News­pa­pers for in­va­sion of pri­vacy and copy­right in­fringe­ment last year over a se­ries of ar­ti­cles in the Mail on Sun­day that re­pro­duced parts of the let­ter she wrote in Au­gust 2018, sev­eral months af­ter the for­mer US ac­tress known as Meghan Markle mar­ried Bri­tain’s Prince Harry.

The rul­ing

In a rul­ing yes­ter­day, Judge Mark Warby threw out some of the causes of ac­tion ar­gued in her law­suit, in­clud­ing the claim that the news­pa­per pub­lisher acted “dis­hon­estly” by quot­ing only cer­tain pas­sages of her let­ter.

Jus­tice Warby also struck out the claim that As­so­ci­ated News­pa­pers de­lib­er­ately “stirred up” a dis­pute be­tween Meghan and her fa­ther, Thomas Markle, and had an agenda to pub­lish in­tru­sive or of­fen­sive sto­ries about her.

The judge said the al­le­ga­tions should not be part of the case as it pro­ceeds be­cause he found them ir­rel­e­vant to es­tab­lish­ing if the pub­lisher was guilty of the il­le­gal acts cited in the duchess’ law­suit - mis­use of pri­vate in­for­ma­tion, copy­right in­fringe­ment and breach of the Data Pro­tec­tion Act. How­ever, Jus­tice Warby said the dis­missed claims could be re­vived at a later stage of the case.

As­so­ci­ated News­pa­pers de­nies the al­le­ga­tions.

Meghan’s ar­gu­ment

Meghan has pre­vi­ously said that if she won the case she would do­nate any dam­ages she might be awarded to an anti-bul­ly­ing char­ity.

Her lawyers ar­gue that the hand-writ­ten let­ter in ques­tion was a “pri­vate and in­ti­mate” mes­sage from a daugh­ter to her fa­ther, and ac­cuse the news­pa­per of tar­get­ing Meghan with “dis­tortive, ma­nip­u­la­tive, and dis­hon­est tac­tics”.

“The duchess’ rights were vi­o­lated; the le­gal bound­aries around pri­vacy were crossed,” her lawyers said in a state­ment.

They ex­pressed sur­prise that the judge’s rul­ing “sug­gests that dis­hon­est be­hav­iour is not rel­e­vant,” but added that “the core el­e­ments of this case do not change and will con­tinue to move for­ward”.


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