Meghan Markle wins High Court privacy claim against Mail on Sunday over Thomas Markle letter

·2-min read

Meghan Markle has won her privacy claim against the Mail on Sunday over the publication of a "personal and private" handwritten letter to her estranged father, Thomas Markle.

In a High Court judgment on Thursday, Mr Justice Warby granted Meghan "summary judgment" in her claim for misuse of private information against the publisher of the Mail on Sunday and MailOnline over the publication of a letter to her father, Thomas Markle.

Meghan was suing Associated Newspapers Ltd (ANL), the publisher of the Mail On Sunday and MailOnline, for breach of copyright, infringement of her privacy, and breaches of the Data Protection Act over articles which showed parts of a letter she had written to her father, 76-year-old Thomas Markle, in August 2018.

Sections of the letter that Meghan wrote to her father were published in the newspaper and online in February 2019.

The headline on the article read: "Revealed: The letter showing true tragedy of Meghan's rift with a father she says has 'broken her heart into a million pieces'."

Last summer, it was ruled that the newspaper publishers could also include the book Finding Freedom, written about the Sussexes, their relationship and their decision to step away from royal life, as part of their defence - a decision Meghan's legal team tried to get overturned.

The judge said: "The claimant had a reasonable expectation that the contents of the letter would remain private. The Mail articles interfered with that reasonable expectation."

He said that "the only tenable justification for any such interference was to correct some inaccuracies about the letter", contained in an article in People magazine which featured an interview with five friends of Meghan.

But Mr Justice Warby added: "The inescapable conclusion is that, save to the very limited extent I have identified, the disclosures made were not a necessary or proportionate means of serving that purpose.

"For the most part they did not serve that purpose at all. Taken as a whole the disclosures were manifestly excessive and hence unlawful."