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29th January 2023

Meghan And The Mail: Newspaper Wins Right To Appeal

Prince Philip's Death: Fox News Blames Meghan Markle
Prince Philip's Death: Fox News Blames Meghan Markle

A Judge has put on hold, the invasion of privacy case between Meghan and The Mail, ruling in favour of the newspaper seeking permission to appeal and challenge a previous court ruling in favour of the Duchess of Sussex.

The legal case between Meghan and The Mail, saw Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL), the publisher of The Mail On Sunday and MailOnline ordered to print a statement on its front page and a notice on page three of the paper, after a UK court ruled in favour of Meghan.

According to the ruling, the notice must state that the organisation “infringed her copyright” by publishing parts of a “personal and private” letter to her estranged father, Thomas Markle.

Judge Mark Warby who ruled in Meghan’s favour last month, ordered the newspaper to publish a front-page statement highlighting the duchess’s legal victory, and said the statement should also run on the MailOnline website for a week.

The statement read: “The court has given judgment for the Duchess of Sussex on her claim for copyright infringement.

“The court found that Associated Newspapers infringed her copyright by publishing extracts of her handwritten letter to her father in The Mail On Sunday and in MailOnline.

“There will be a trial of the remedies to which the duchess is entitled, at which the court will decide whether the duchess is the exclusive owner of copyright in all parts of the letter, or whether any other person owns a share.”
Lord Justice Warby also ordered ANL to publish the statement on MailOnline “for a period of one week” with a hyperlink to his full judgment.

The judge added: “In my judgment, these are measured incursions into the defendant’s freedom to decide what it publishes and does not publish, that are justified in pursuit of the legitimate aim I have identified, and proportionate to that aim.

“They will involve little if any additional expense, and certainly nothing approaching the scale of the expense that has been lavished on this litigation.”

In the summary judgment ruling last month, the judge said publication of Meghan’s letter to her father was “manifestly excessive and hence unlawful”.

He said: “It was, in short, a personal and private letter.

“The majority of what was published was about the claimant’s own behaviour, her feelings of anguish about her father’s behaviour, as she saw it, and the resulting rift between them

“These are inherently private and personal matters.”
He said “the only tenable justification for any such interference was to correct some inaccuracies about the letter”, contained in an article in People magazine, published just days before ANL’s five articles, which featured an interview with five friends of Meghan.
But the judge added: “The inescapable conclusion is that, save to the very limited extent I have identified, the disclosures made were not a necessary or proportionate means of serving that purpose.

“For the most part they did not serve that purpose at all.

“Taken as a whole the disclosures were manifestly excessive and hence unlawful.”

He also said ANL’s arguments on ownership of the copyright of the letter “seem to me to occupy the shadowland between improbability and unreality”.

The Meghan and The Mail case changed on Monday, when a UK Judge ruled that the previous ruling could be put on hold while Associated Newspapers asked the Court of Appeal for permission to challenge his earlier rulings, Associated Press reports.

“The defendants are entitled to ask the Court of Appeal to look at their grounds and decide if those points justify the grant of permission to appeal,” the judge said. “To refuse a stay in the meantime would negate that entitlement.”

Meghan, a former star of the American TV legal drama “Suits,” married Harry, a grandson of Queen Elizabeth II, at Windsor Castle in May 2018. Their son Archie was born the following year.

In early 2020, Meghan and Harry announced they were quitting royal duties and moving to North America, citing what they said were the unbearable intrusions and racist attitudes of the British media.

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey that was broadcast earlier this month, the couple alleged that Meghan was the victim of racism and callous treatment during her time as a working member of the royal family.

Buckingham Palace said the allegations were “concerning” and would be “taken very seriously.”

The duchess, 39, sued ANL over a series of articles that reproduced parts of a “heartfelt” letter sent to Mr Markle, 76, in August 2018.

She claimed the five articles published in February 2019 involved a misuse of her private information, breached her copyright and breached the Data Protection Act.

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