A judge on Friday struck down parts of Meghan Markle’s claim against the Associated Newspapers, giving the publisher the first win in the Duchess of Sussex’s ongoing privacy case against it.
Meghan is suing Associated Newspapers, the parent company of the Mail on Sunday, for publishing articles last year that contained parts of a private letter she wrote to her estranged father, Thomas Markle.
After a preliminary hearing in London’s High Court last week, Mr Justice Warby on Friday threw out parts of Meghan’s claim that claimed the publisher acted dishonestly, intentionally caused conflict between Meghan and her father, and had an organized agenda against the duchess. The central issues of the case are privacy, copyright infringement and the breach of the Data Protection Act 2018.
“I do not consider the allegations in question go to the ‘heart’ of the case, which at its core concerns the publication of five articles disclosing the words of, and information drawn from, the letter written by the claimant to her father in August in 2018,” the judge said.
Meghan will not be appealing the decision. Some of the aspects of what was thrown out can come up later in the case, according to Warby.
A spokesperson for Schillings, the duchesses’ law firm, said they were “surprised” to hear “dishonest behaviour is not relevant” but that they respected the judge’s decision.
“The Duchess’ rights were violated; the legal boundaries around privacy were crossed. 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,” the spokesperson said.
Up next in the case is another procedural hearing. A date for the trial has not been set.
Prince Harry is involved in a separate privacy lawsuit, as he is suing owners of the Mirror and the Sun over alleged phone hacking.