2 October 2019CopyrightSaman Javed

Meghan Markle brings copyright action against newspaper

Meghan Markle has taken legal action against the Mail on Sunday newspaper over the publication of a private letter.

In a statement published yesterday, October 1, the Duchess of Sussex said she had filed a claim against the paper's publisher, Associated Newspapers, at the Chancery Division of the UK High Court over the misuse of private information, infringement of copyright and breach of the Data Protection Act 2018.

This was accompanied by a statement from her husband, Prince Harry, who said the contents of the private letter were published in an “unlawfully in an intentionally destructive manner” to manipulate readers.

“In addition to their unlawful publication of this private document, they purposely misled you [the reader] by strategically omitting select paragraphs, specific sentences, and even singular words to mask the lies they had perpetuated for over a year,” he added.

A legal spokesperson from Schillings, the law firm representing the Duchess of Sussex described the publication of the letter as “intrusive and unlawful”.

“Given the refusal of Associated Newspapers to resolve this issue satisfactorily, we have issued proceedings to redress this breach of privacy, infringement of copyright and the aforementioned media agenda,” the spokesperson said.

‘Ruthless campaign’

The prince also condemned the treatment of his wife in the press, describing her as a victim of a “ruthless campaign” that has escalated over the past year.

It was for this reason that the couple had decided to take legal action, a process which he said “has been many months in the making”.

The Duke said, “There comes a point when the only thing to do is to stand up to this behaviour, because it destroys people and destroys lives. Put simply, it is bullying, which scares and silences people,” Prince Harry said.

The Duke continued: “Though this action may not be the safe one, it is the right one. Because my deepest fear is history repeating itself. I’ve seen what happens when someone I love is commoditised to the point that they are no longer treated or seen as a real person. I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces.”

His mother, Princess Diana, became one of the most photographed women on the planet after she married into the British royal family.

The case is being privately funded by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and any damages awarded will be donated to an anti-bullying charity.

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More on this story

6 May 2021   The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, has secured another victory in her copyright claim against the publisher of the Mail On Sunday over the publication of a handwritten letter to her estranged father.
2 December 2021   The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, has won another battle in her ongoing copyright and privacy dispute with the publisher of the Mail on Sunday and the MailOnline over the leaking of a personal letter to her father.
6 January 2022   Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, will receive an undisclosed amount from Associated Newspapers Limited after the publisher was found to have infringed her copyright.