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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Duchess of Sussex wins court battle with UK publisher

With the Mail on Sunday’s publisher, Meghan Duchess of Sussex, has won the latest round of a long-running privacy battle.

The duchess of Sussex’s appeal against a previous verdict that she had a reasonable expectation of privacy about a letter she addressed to her father Thomas Markle in August 2018 was dismissed by a UK court on Thursday.

Meghan sued ANL after parts of the private letter were published in the Mail on Sunday.

ANL and the Mail on Sunday earlier stated that they will strongly defend their choice to publish passages from the handwritten letter.

The duchess “had a legitimate expectation of privacy in the contents of the letter,” the court stated in a summary of the verdict released on Thursday.

“Those contents were personal, private and not matters of legitimate public interest,” stated by the court. “The articles in the Mail on Sunday interfered with the duchess’s reasonable expectation of privacy.”

ANL stated in a statement that it was “extremely unhappy” by the decision and that it is considering appealing to the UK Supreme Court.

“It is our firm belief that in a hotly contested case, judgement should be rendered only on the basis of evidence tested at trial, not on a summary basis before even document discovery,” ANL stated.

Meghan praised the decision in a statement released on Thursday, saying she hoped it would help to transform the UK newspaper sector. The Daily Mail, Britain’s largest tabloid, is also published by ANL.

The statement adds, “This is a win not just for me, but for anyone who has ever felt afraid to stand up for what’s right.”

“While our victory sets a precedent, what matters most is that we are now collectively brave enough to reform a tabloid industry that breeds cruelty in individuals and benefits from the lies and agony they cause.”

The duchess won her privacy claim against ANL in February when the judge ruled “the disclosures were manifestly excessive and hence unlawful,” and that there would be “no prospect that a different judgment would be reached after a trial.”

However, ANL challenged the ruling and pushed for a trial to take place.

In her statement on Thursday, Meghan criticized the publisher for extending the lawsuit and “making a straightforward case extraordinarily convoluted in order to generate more headlines and sell more newspapers — a model that rewards chaos above truth.”

“I have been patient in the face of deception, intimidation, and deliberate attacks for nearly three years,” she stated.

“Today, the courts ruled in my favour – again again — confirming that Lord Jonathan Rothermere’s newspaper, The Mail on Sunday, had broken the law.”

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