Meghan Markle Wins Privacy Lawsuit Against Tabloid
Meghan Markle has scored a win in court in a privacy lawsuit against a U.K. tabloid.
A judge sided with Meghan Markle and granted her summary judgment in her claims against Mail on Sunday. She sued over five articles the publication posted in February 2019 that included portions of a letter she handwrote to her father after marrying Prince Harry the previous May.
Judge Mark Warby ruled on the case and determined that Meghan Markle
“had a reasonable expectation that the contents of the letter would remain private. The Mail articles interfered with that reasonable expectation.”
He added that the publication violated the copyright of the letter, even though The Mail argued that the copyright isn’t clear as someone else might have helped Meghan Markle write the letter. That question remained unanswered as Judge Warby scheduled a hearing for March 2 to determine the copyright status. Still, he stated it was “the shadowland between improbability and unreality” and any ruling concerning copyright would only determine how much money in damages Meghan Markle will be awarded.
Judge Warby continued,
“At worst, therefore, the claimant is a co-author of a work of joint authorship, and entitled to relief for infringement of her share in the copyright. There is no room for doubt that the defendant’s conduct involved an infringement of copyright in the Electronic Draft of which the claimant was the owner or, at worst, a co-owner.”
Meghan Markle said in a statement that she’s “grateful” for the outcome. See her statement below:
“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.
“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.
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, mom, and legal team, and especially Jenny Afia for her unrelenting support throughout this process.”
“We are very surprised by today’s summary judgment and disappointed at being denied the chance to have all the evidence heard and tested in open court at a full trial. We are carefully considering the judgment’s contents and will decide in due course whether to lodge an appeal.”