Markle is suing the Mail on Sunday for breach of copyright, invasion of privacy, and contravention of her data rights after it published parts of a letter she had written to her father. Her initial claims also accused the Mail of acting “dishonestly and in bad faith,” of deliberately stirring up family contact, and having an “obvious agenda of publishing intrusive or offensive stories about [her] intended to portray her in a false and damaging light.” Those three claims are now removed.
“There is a human cost to this relentless propaganda, specifically when it is knowingly false and malicious, and though we have continued to put on a brave face — as so many of you can relate to — I cannot begin to describe how painful it has been,” husband Prince Harry wrote in a letter back in October about the lawsuit. “Because in today’s digital age, press fabrications are repurposed as truth across the globe. One day’s coverage is no longer tomorrow’s chip-paper.”
However, in a summary of the decision, the judge wrote that he did not “consider the allegations in question go to the ‘heart’ of the case, which at its core concerns the publication of five articles disclosing the words of, and information drawn from, the letter written by the claimant to her father in August in 2018.”
The allegations can still be brought back at a later stage of the lawsuit on the right legal basis.
“Today’s ruling makes very clear that the core elements of this case do not change and will continue to move forward,” Meghan’s legal team at the London law firm, Schillings said: “The Duchess’ rights were violated; the legal boundaries around privacy were crossed. As part of this process, the extremes to which the Mail on Sunday used distortive, manipulative, and dishonest tactics to target the Duchess of Sussex have been put on full display. “
This lawsuit is in addition to the lawsuit the royal couple also filed against The Sun and The Daily Mirror over allegations of phone hacking.
The team admitted that they were “surprised” that the judge felt dishonest behaviour was not relevant to the lawsuit. While this news is a small blow, it does not mean Markle no longer has a chance of winning the case. However, it does indicate a somewhat long and prickly road of the head as the specifics of the allegations are ironed out and brought to any necessary justice. A trial date for the lawsuit has not yet been set.