By Matthew Roscoe • 02 December 2021 • 12:24
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THE Mail on Sunday loses its appeal in the latest stage of the Meghan Markle privacy battle over a letter to her estranged father.
In a statement issued after the ruling, the wife of Prince Harry said: “This is a victory not just for me, but for anyone who has ever felt scared to stand up for what’s right.”
Meghan, 40, sued Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL), which also publishes MailOnline, over articles that reproduced parts of the “personal and private” letter sent to her 77-year-old dad in August 2018.
Earlier this year, the Duchess of Sussex won her copyright claim against the Mail On Sunday over the publication of a handwritten letter to her estranged father Thomas Markle.
ANL had previously argued the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s former communications secretary Jason Knauf was a co-author of the letter, meaning its copyright belonged to the Crown. Whereas Meghan’s lawyers had said the letter was “deeply personal” and “self-evidently was intended to be kept private”.
When the ruling went against ANL back in May, they brought about an appeal and at a three-day hearing last month, they argued the case should go to trial on Meghan’s claims including breach of privacy and copyright.
However, the judge in today’s (December 2) case said the issues were so clear cut there was no need for a full hearing. The decision has now been upheld.
Announcing the decision, the three judges hearing the appeal said the letter’s contents were “personal, private and not matters of legitimate public interest”.
They added: “It was hard to see what evidence could have been adduced at trial that would have altered the situation…
“The judge had correctly decided that, whilst it might have been proportionate to publish a very small part of the letter for that purpose, it was not necessary to publish half the contents of the letter.”
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Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]
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