The Duchess of Sussex won the final step of her privacy action against a British tabloid on Thursday, when three senior judges declared that the publication’s publisher had violated her privacy by publishing sections of a letter she sent to her estranged father.
The duchess, formerly an American Actress Meghan Markle, described the Court of Appeal verdict as a triumph for “right versus wrong.” She urged people to “reshape a tabloid industry,” which has long been the scourge of celebrities and the British royal family.
The publisher of The Mail on Sunday and the MailOnline website violated Meghan’s privacy with five articles that reproduced a large portion of a handwritten letter she sent her father, Thomas Markle, after she married Prince Harry in 2018.
The High Court of the United Kingdom ruled in February that the publisher of The Mail on Sunday and the MailOnline website violated Meghan’s privacy with five articles that reproduced a large portion of a handwritten letter she sent her father, Thomas Markle, after she married Prince Harry in 2018.
A hearing was held last month after the publisher filed an appeal. Senior appeals judge Geoffrey Vos dismissed the appeal on Thursday, saying that “the Duchess had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the contents of the letter. Those contents were personal, private and not matters of legitimate public interest.”
Meghan, 40, said in a statement that the decision was “a victory not just for me, but for anyone who has ever felt scared to stand up for what’s right.”
“What matters most is that we are now collectively brave enough to reshape a tabloid industry that conditions people to be cruel, and profits from the lies and pain that they create,” she said.
Previously, the Court of Appeal stated that it will take time to rule on Meghan’s privacy struggle with the tabloid daily. During the proceedings, attorneys for the Mail contended that Meghan sent the letter with the awareness that it will not be a simple private note to her father, but that it may be made public.
Meghan’s counsel had disputed this notion throughout the previous trial. The Mail’s lawyers provided a witness statement from her former communications head Jason Knauf during the appeal, which they said threw doubt on their accounts.
“I apologise to the court for the fact that I had not remembered these exchanges at the time. I had absolutely no wish or intention to mislead the defendant or the court,” the duchess said in a witness statement.