The Duchess of Sussex sued Associated Newspapers Limited – the publisher of The Mail On Sunday and MailOnline – over five articles that reproduced parts of a “personal and private” letter to her father Thomas Markle Sr., 77, in August 2018
The newspaper today, Dec. 2, lost its appeal against a summary judgement which ruled the paper breached Meghan’s privacy by publishing a letter she had written to her estranged dad Thomas Markle.
The duchess won her case earlier this year when a High Court judge ruled in her favour without a full trial. But the publisher brought an appeal and, at a three-day hearing in November, argued the case should go to a trial on Meghan’s claims against the publisher – including breach of privacy and copyright.
Three senior judges handed down their decision on that appeal at 10am today, Dec. 2, in which the appeal was dismissed.
Reacting to the court’s decision, Meghan said: “This is a victory not just for me, but for anyone who has ever felt scared to stand up for what’s right.”
Her statement continued: “From day one, I have treated this lawsuit as an important measure of right versus wrong.
“The defendant has treated it as a game with no rules.
“The longer they dragged it out, the more they could twist facts and manipulate the public (even during the appeal itself), making a straightforward case extraordinarily convoluted in order to generate more headlines and sell more newspapers – a model that rewards chaos above truth.
“In the nearly three years since this began, I have been patient in the face of deception, intimidation and calculated attacks.”
The statement added: “The courts have held the defendant to account and my hope is that we all begin to do the same.
“Because as far removed as it may seem from your personal life, it’s not. Tomorrow it could be you.
“These harmful practices don’t happen once in a blue moon – they are a daily fail that divide us and we all deserve better.”
Giving a summary of the Court of Appeal’s decision to dismiss, Sir Geoffrey Vos said: “The Court of Appeal upheld the judge’s decision that the duchess had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the contents of the letter.
“Those contents were personal, private and not matters of legitimate public interest.
“The articles in the Mail on Sunday interfered with the duchess’ reasonable expectation of privacy and were not a justified or proportionate means of correcting inaccuracies about the letter.”