LONDON – An English court ordered Mail on Sunday to pay undisclosed financial damages to the Duchess of Sussex after ruling in her favor in a protracted piracy case.
The paper has confirmed that, following hearings in January and May, the court has ruled for Meghan Markle to receive money from the Mail’s parent company, Associated Newspaper.
Markle took the Press Association to court nearly three years ago for invading her privacy and violating her copyright by publishing excerpts of her handwritten letter to her father in the Sunday Mail and in the Online Mail.
The Mail on Sunday confirmed that “financial measures” had been agreed, but did not disclose the amount. The settlement ruling brings the case to a close and means it will not be heard in the UK Supreme Court.
At the beginning of the year, the judge, Mr. Justice Warby, granted Markle a “summary judgment”, which, in the private part of the case, means it was resolved without a trial.
As reported, The Mail on Sunday published a handwritten letter from Markle to her father Thomas Markle, prompting the case to be filed in late 2019. The lawsuit was filed just before the Duke and Duchess. of Sussex. give up their royal duties and move to North America.
The article’s title reads: “Disclosure: The letter reveals the true tragedy of Meghan’s fractured relationship with a father that she says has ‘broken her heart into a million pieces’ .'” in print and online in early 2019.
Earlier this year, the judge described the letter as containing “inherently private and personal issues” and argued that a trial would lead to the same conclusion.
In May, the judge again ruled briefly in Markle’s favor on the copyright claim. The Mail on Sunday unsuccessfully appealed the ruling, and then eventually agreed to settle the case.
The newspaper’s lawyers argued that Markle co-authored the letter with a member of the royal family, and that it was therefore the property of the British monarch.
But a member of staff, Jason Knauf, testified in court that he did not co-write the letter.
Knauf was previously the communications secretary for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Multiple British newspapers, citing emails, reported that Knauf was the one who complained to Buckingham Palace in 2018 that Markle had bullied staff members.
The couple’s law firm Schillings has said from the start that proceeds from any damages will be donated to an anti-bullying charity.
The couple revealed their intention to sue on their old website. Their statement was lengthy and accompanied by an implied statement from Prince Harry about media intrusion in their lives.
“As a couple, we believe in media freedom and objective, honest reporting,” Harry’s statement read.
“We see it as the foundation of democracy and in the current state of the world – at every level – we have never needed more responsible media,” he said, adding that his wife had fallen victim to a “British tabloid that campaigned against individuals with no thought of the consequences – a ruthless campaign that had escalated over the past year, during her pregnancy.” and while raising our newborn son. “
https://wwd.com/business-news/media/associated-newspapers-ordered-pay-meghan-markle-copyright-case-1235023460/ Associated Newspapers Ordered to Pay Meghan Markle in Copyright Case – WWD