Meghan wins privacy case against newspaper over letter to her father

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Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, has won the bulk of her legal battle against a tabloid newspaper today after a judge ruled printing extracts of a private letter she wrote to her father was “manifestly excessive and hence unlawful.”

Meghan, the wife of Prince Harry, sued Associated Newspapers after its Mail on Sunday tabloid printed parts of a handwritten letter she sent to her estranged father Thomas Markle in August 2018.

Judge Mark Warby ruled the newspaper breached Meghan’s privacy, but said some issues relating to her copyright of the letter would need to be settled at a later date.

He said: “The claimant had a reasonable expectation that the contents of the letter would remain private. The Mail articles interfered with that reasonable expectation.”

In the two day hearing last month, Meghan’s lawyers said printing the “personal and sensitive” letter was a “triple-barrelled” assault on “her private life, her family life and her correspondence.”

Judge Warby added: “She enjoyed a reasonable expectation that the contents would remain private and not be published to the world at large by a national newspaper; the defendant’s conduct in publishing the contents of the letter was a misuse of her private information.”

Meghan welcomed the ruling in a statement saying: “After two long years of pursuing litigation, I am grateful to the courts for holding Associated Newspapers and The Mail on Sunday to account for their illegal and dehumanizing practices.

“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 Mail on Sunday and Associated Newspapers previously ​said they stood by the decision to publish excerpts from the letter and would defend the case vigorously.

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