Meghan Markle has lost her first High Court battle in her ongoing lawsuit against the Mail on Sunday.
Meghan is suing the British tabloid paper and Associated Newspapers for publishing a letter she wrote to her father Thomas Markle. The civil lawsuit accuses the outlet of copyright infringement, misuse of private information, and violating the U.K.’s data protection law with the publication of the letter.
Following a pre-trial hearing last Friday, it was then revealed Mr Justice Warby had struck out parts of Meghan’s case a week later. The Duchess of Sussex is suing the company over five articles, two in the Mail on Sunday and three on the Mail Online.
The judge said: “Some of the allegations are struck out as irrelevant to the purpose for which they are pleaded. Some are struck out on the further or alternative ground that they are inadequately detailed. I have also acted so as to confine the case to what is reasonably necessary and proportionate for the purpose of doing justice between these parties.”
Lawyer David Sherborne, who previously represented Princess Diana, has been helping Meghan fight the case.
“I do not consider that the allegations struck out on that basis go to the ‘heart’ of the case, which at its core concerns the publication of five articles disclosing the words of, and information drawn from, the letter written by the claimant to her father in August 2018. Some aspects of the case that I have struck out at this stage may be revived if they are put in proper form,” the judge added.
A spokesperson for Schillings, who are acting on behalf of the Duchess of Sussex, said, according to Hello!: “Today’s ruling makes very clear that the core elements of this case do not change and will continue to move forward. The Duchess’ rights were violated; the legal boundaries around privacy were crossed. As part of this process, the extremes to which The Mail on Sunday used distortive, manipulative, and dishonest tactics to target the Duchess of Sussex have been put on full display.
“Whilst the Judge recognizes that there is a claim for breach of privacy and copyright, we are surprised to see that his ruling suggests that dishonest behaviour is not relevant. We feel honesty and integrity are at the core of what matters; or as it relates to the Mail on Sunday and Associated Newspapers, their lack thereof.
“Nonetheless, we respect the Judge’s decision as the strong case against Associated will continue to focus on the issue of a private, intimate and hand-written letter from a daughter to her father that was published by The Mail on Sunday. This gross violation of any person’s right to privacy is obvious and unlawful, and The Mail on Sunday should be held to account for their actions.”