London’s High Court removes part of Meghan Markle’s privacy claim against UK tabloid newspapers

London’s High Court has thrown out part of a claim brought by Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, against a tabloid newspaper for breaching her privacy.

Meghan is suing publisher Associated Newspapers over articles its Mail on Sunday newspaper printed in February last year which included parts of a letter she had sent to her father following her marriage to Prince Harry in 2018.

At a hearing last week, the paper’s lawyer argued that allegations it had acted dishonestly and had stoked the family rift should be removed from the case along with references to other articles about the Royal which Meghan says were false.

“I agree that all three categories of allegation should be struck out of the Particulars of Claim,” judge Mark Warby said in his ruling.

Lawyers for the Duchess say the publication of her letter by the paper was a misuse of private information and breached her copyright. They are seeking aggravated damages.

As part of the claim, they had accused the Mail and other tabloids of harassing, humiliating and manipulating Thomas Markle, and contributing towards a fallout between him and his daughter. The two have not spoken since her wedding to Harry in May 2018.

Meghan Markle surrounded by women.
Meghan has spent time in Vancouver and Los Angeles since stepping down from royal duties in March.(Facebook: Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre)

Newspaper prepared to defend conduct

The paper rejected the allegation it had acted dishonestly or maliciously by publishing extracts of the letter she sent her father in August 2018 and said it was “remarkable” the claim about the treatment of Mr Markle had been made without the Duchess having contacted him to see if he agreed.

“Today’s ruling makes very clear that the core elements of this case do not change and will continue to move forward,” said a spokesman for Schillings, Meghan’s law firm.

He added: “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 case will still go on to a full trial but no date for it has yet been set.

Prince Harry is suing the owners of The Sun and the Daily Mirror in a separate claim, claiming his voicemail messages were illegally accessed.

Meghan and Harry are now living in the Los Angeles area, having stepped down from their royal roles at the end of March.


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