Following the February ruling in Meghan Markle’s favor, the U.K.’s High Court has ruled that the Mail on Sunday will additionally now have to publish a front-page statement acknowledging the royal’s lawsuit victory over the tabloid.
The parent company of the Mail on Sunday, Associated Newspapers, has also been ordered to print a notice on page three of its papers stating that they did in fact infringe Meghan’s copyright by deciding to publish excerpts of a letter she wrote to her father, Thomas Markle, in August 2018 after her wedding to Prince Harry. In the Friday ruling, Lord Justice Mark Warby also granted Meghan a declaration that the publisher “misused her private information and infringed her copyright,” according to The Guardian.
During a remote hearing on Tuesday, Associated Newspapers’ lawyers asked for permission to appeal the ruling on 10 grounds, but were refused. The judge stated that he “did not consider that there is any real prospect that the court of appeal would reach a different conclusion as to the outcome of the claim for misuse of private information, or as to the issues I decided in the copyright claim.” Lord Justice Warby added that he believes the publication of the notice about Meghan’s victory over the publisher would have “genuine utility.”
Meghan was granted a summary judgement last month for breach of privacy and copyright, meaning the case has been struck and will not go to trial in October. The judge sided with the royal, writing that she had a “reasonable expectation that the contents of the letter would remain private.” Any future court case will be to assess damages and address the issue of whether palace aide Jason Knauf assisted the duchess in the writing of the letter and therefore also has a claim to copyright.
A source close to the duchess told Vanity Fair last fall that when it comes to seeking justice, “there’s no wavering. She is resolute that she intends to see this to the end. It’s costing a lot of money, but no one has been in the dark about the scale of this and what it’s going to cost. The duchess’s eyes were wide open when she went into this, and she feels as strongly now as she did then that she has to draw a line in the sand. The publication of the letter and how Thomas was treated by the Mail on Sunday has caused real damage to their relationship.”
The February ruling in Meghan’s favor also came one week after her husband, Prince Harry, received an apology and won “substantial damages” from Associated Newspapers over “baseless, false, and defamatory” allegations that he snubbed the Royal Marines after stepping down as a senior royal.
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