The Duchess of Sussex has won her High Court privacy claim against Associated Newspapers (the publishers of the Mail on Sunday and MailOnline), over the outlets publication of “personal and private” letters penned by her estranged father, Thomas Markle.
The ruling was announced by Justice Warby in the UK on Thursday, February 11.
Judge Warby granted Meghan a “summary judgement” for her claim of misuse of private information. The ruling means the Duchess has won for both copyright and privacy and no further action in the courts will need to be taken. The next hearing will be to determined the Duchess of Sussex’s damages.
According to Harper’s Bazaar, the mother-of-one will be “seeking damages from the two outlets following the ruling in her favour.”
Meghan Markle responded to the news with a statement, which read: “After two long years of pursuing litigation, I am grateful to the courts for holding Associated Newspapers and The Mail on Sunday to account for their illegal and dehumanising practices.”
“These tactics (and those of their sister publications MailOnline and the Daily Mail) are not new; in fact, they’ve been going on for far too long without consequence. For these outlets, it’s a game. For me and so many others, it’s real life, real relationships, and very real sadness. The damage they have done and continue to do runs deep.”
“The world needs reliable, fact-checked, high-quality news. What The Mail on Sunday and its partner publications do is the opposite. We all lose when misinformation sells more than truth, when moral exploitation sells more than decency, and when companies create their business model to profit from people’s pain,” she explained.
“But for today, with this comprehensive win on both privacy and copyright, we have all won. We now know, and hope it creates legal precedent, that you cannot take somebody’s privacy and exploit it in a privacy case, as the defendant has blatantly done over the past two years.”
Meghan also took a moment to personally thank her husband, Prince Harry, who has been with her through every step of the proceedings.
“I share this victory with each of you—because we all deserve justice and truth, and we all deserve better. I particularly want to thank my husband, mum, and legal team, and especially Jenny Afia for her unrelenting support throughout this process,” Meghan said.
The 39-year-old took Associated Newspapers, publisher of Mail on Sunday, to court over an article it published showing an exchange of handwritten letters between her and her father, which were written before her wedding in August 2018.