The Duchess of Sussex just won legal action against Associated Newspaper Limited (ANL), the owner of the Mail, after the newspaper published a ‘personal and private’ letter to her father Thomas Markle.
Meghan Markle will receive £1 ($1.36) in damages from the Mail after the paper published more than five articles that reproduced parts of the letter.
According to the Guardian, the former actress won the case and the nominal sum confirms the Mail and MailOnline have lost.
Reports also reveal that the newspaper must pay a confidential amount for another case of infringing Meghan’s copyright after releasing parts of the private letter.
Media lawyer Mark Stephens told the Guardian: “Normally for that kind of invasion of privacy you would expect £75,000 ($101,000) to £125,000 ($169,000).
“It does show that the curation of her reputation was an area where she had effectively invaded her own privacy.”
ANL will also pay an unspecified amount in damages for copyright infringement. In addition, the Mail faces covering part of Meghan’s legal costs which could be over £1 million ($1.36 million).
Both MailOnline and the Mail were ordered to publish front and homepage declarations that they accepted defeat.
Judge Sir Geoffrey Vos gave a summary of the decision, saying: “The Court of Appeal upheld the judge’s decision 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.
“The articles in the Mail on Sunday interfered with the duchess’ reasonable expectation of privacy and were not a justified or proportionate means of correcting inaccuracies about the letter.”
Meghan responded to the ruling and said in a statement: “This is a victory not just for me, but for anyone who has ever felt scared to stand up for what’s right.
“From day one, I have treated this lawsuit as an important measure of right versus wrong. The defendant has treated it as a game with no rules.
“The longer they dragged it out, the more they could twist facts and manipulate the public (even during the appeal itself), making a straightforward case extraordinarily convoluted in order to generate more headlines and sell more newspapers – a model that rewards chaos above truth.”
She continued: “In the nearly three years since this began, I have been patient in the face of deception, intimidation and calculated attacks.
“The courts have held the defendant to account and my hope is that we all begin to do the same. Because as far removed as it may seem from your personal life, it’s not. Tomorrow it could be you.
“These harmful practices don’t happen once in a blue moon – they are a daily fail that divide us and we all deserve better.”
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