Meghan Markle suffered a triple-barrelled invasion of privacy, judge told in court

Tristan Kirk
·2-min read
<p>Meghan is suing Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL) over articles which reproduced parts of a handwritten letter to her father Thomas Markle.  </p> (AP)

Meghan is suing Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL) over articles which reproduced parts of a handwritten letter to her father Thomas Markle.

(AP)

The Duchess of Sussex says she was the victim of a “plain and serious” invasion of privacy as she seeks to end her High Court battle with the Mail on Sunday.

Meghan is suing Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL) over articles which reproduced parts of a handwritten letter to her father Thomas Markle.

The case was back at the High Court today as the duchess applied for summary judgment, asking a judge to hand her victory without the need for a trial.

Her legal team, led by QCs Ian Mill and Justin Rushbrooke, told Mr Justice Warby in written submissions ahead of the hearing that they believe ANL’s defence to the privacy claim is “fanciful”.

“The act of writing a personal letter to a close family member... inevitably puts the writer in an unguarded and potentially vulnerable position because the words chosen... are for the recipient and no one else”, the lawyers wrote.

“The defendant’s decision to publish, without (Meghan’s) consent or even prior knowledge, very substantial extracts from her letter to her father to its millions of readers worldwide was a plain and serious invasion of her rights of privacy in that letter.”

ANL is fighting the claim, which is scheduled for trial at the High Court in autumn. It will argue against summary judgment over the course of the next two days.

Meghan’s legal team concluded: “The defendant has no real prospect of successfully defending the claim — the defendant’s contentions to the contrary are utterly fanciful.”

Mr Rushbrook QC told the hearing: “It was a triple-barrelled invasion of her privacy rights: the right to respect for correspondence, her private and her family life.” The case centres on a letter the duchess penned to her father in August 2018, the contents of which then appeared in five articles published by the Mail on Sunday and MailOnline.

The trial was due to take place this month but was delayed until later in the year on the duchess’s application. In its defence to the claim, ANL argues Meghan knew the letter would be shared by her father, including with the media and she wrote it immaculately knowing it would be seen by others.

In response, Meghan revealed she allowed personal information to be conveyed to the authors of the book by a friend, but insists this was strictly to set out the “true position” and correct media reports.

She is suing on the grounds of breach of privacy and copyright. The hearing continues.

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