Meghan Markle’s Thursday victory in her protracted litigation with the publishers of a British tabloid is significant in many ways, and not only because it could lead to significant financial damage and a public apology from the newspaper that published excerpts from the “deeply personal” Letter she wrote to her father.
It also means that she will likely avoid a trial in which she might have had to face her estranged father, Thomas Markle. During the trial, she also had to be cross-examined by lawyers for the Mail on Sunday tabloid, according to the Daily Beast.
Both prospects could be painful. Meghan is known to have thrown her father out of her life after he abandoned her wedding to Prince Harry in May 2018 and after he began criticizing her in interviews with tabloids and British television.
The continuation of the trial would mean that the Duchess of Sussex could be publicly questioned about the seemingly inconsistent statements she made regarding her collaboration with the compassionate biography writers, and whether she really wanted her letter to her father private.
Meghan’s legal victory on Thursday came when the London Court of Appeals ruled in her favor against Associated Newspapers, the publisher of the Mail on Sunday, as well as the Daily Mail and Mail Online, the Daily Beast, people elsewhere reported. The US-born former television actress is suing Associated Newspapers for privacy and copyright infringement.
“This is a victory not only for me, but for anyone who has ever been afraid to stand up for what is right,” Meghan said in a statement following her sentencing Thursday morning, according to People.
“While this victory is a precedent, most importantly, we are now collectively brave enough to change the tabloid industry that makes people violent and capitalize on the lies and pain they create,” she continued.
However, the case may not be over. Associated Newspapers’ attorneys have released a statement challenging the decision, according to the Daily Beast. They also said the publishers are considering further legal action, including an appeal to the United Kingdom Supreme Court.
“We strongly believe that a decision should be made only on the basis of evidence verified in court, and not on the basis of generalization in a highly contested case, even before disclosure of documents,” the company said in a statement.
Meghan is suing Associated Newspapers after five articles published in February 2019 reproduced long passages of a handwritten letter she sent to her father.
Earlier this year, a judge handed down a summary judgment in Meghan’s favor before the case could go to trial. Lord Justice Warby agreed that the tabloid violated the Duchess’s privacy. Based on the evidence presented so far, he essentially said the Associated Newspapers had no chance of winning the trial.
The Associated Newspapers appealed the decision, arguing that the case at least deserves a post-trial review. The company also provided dramatic and potentially dangerous new evidence to support its appeal in the form of testimony from former royal assistant Jason Knauf, who served as liaison secretary for Meghan and Harry when they were serving as members of the royal family. a family.
Drawing on previously unseen emails and text from the Duchess, Knauf said Meghan has collaborated with the authors of In Search of Freedom, a flattering biography of her and Harry. Both Meghan and Harry have long denied that she collaborated with the authors, including in statements by Meghan’s lawyers in court.
The confidential text messages that Meghan sent to Knauf also revealed that she worked with him on a letter to his father, “realizing it might leak,” she said. In her posts, Megan talked about wanting to be careful with her choice of words, and also discussed referring to her father as “dad”, writing: “In case (the letter) leaks, it will pull the strings of the heart.”
Associated Newspapers attorneys argued that Megan’s comments refuted her claims that she always wanted her letter to be private.
The submission of evidence by Knauf forced Megan to apologize to the court and admit that she “forgot” to send him an email in which he was provided with specific information that he could share with the authors of “Freedom”.
UK legal experts previously told the Daily Beast that it appeared that Meghan had “seriously misled the court” and potentially “told the thunders” when she continued to press the Mail on Sunday.
But Thursday’s court ruling rejecting the Associated Newspapers’ appeal showed that the judges weren’t particularly worried about Meghan’s admission that she had forgotten about the email.
According to the Daily Beast, the judge, Sir Jeffrey Vos, said: “At best it was an annoying memory loss on her part, but (it) did not make the difference.”
Vos also said the new evidence from Knauf, including how Meghan worked with the royal assistants to draft the letter to her father, was “of little help” on the issue at hand, the Daily Beast added.
In addition, Vos rejected claims from publishers that they allowed Thomas Markle to tell his side of the dispute with Meghan by publishing excerpts from her letter to him. Publishers claimed that Meghan was responsible for making her letter public when five of her friends interviewed People in February 2019 and mentioned the letter.
But Vos said posting the letter “is not a justifiable or proportionate means of correcting the inaccuracies in the letter” allegedly contained in the People article.
Vos also said the Mail on Sunday articles focused more on revealing the contents of the letter than on giving Thomas Markle the opportunity to respond to comments about him in the People article.