Even as Meghan Markle and Prince Harry pivot to building the empire that is Archewell, the royal couple still has some old business to attend to in the form of active lawsuits against tabloids back here in the UK. Fortunately, the Sussexes are that much closer to moving on from this tumultuous chapter after a judge ruled in Meghan’s favour in one of her most complicated lawsuits.
Meghan’s suit against Associated Newspapers (the publisher that owns Mail on Sunday) began in 2019 after the outlet published a personal letter she’d written to her father. In addition to claiming that Mail on Sunday was “spreading relentless propaganda” against her, Meghan alleged that the publication of the letter was technically an infringement of copyright law because they reprinted and shared her words without her approval. Mail on Sunday's legal counsel pushed back against the copyright point, insisting that the letter hadn't even been personally penned by the duchess; rather, they allege, it was the result of media strategisation by the Royal Family, specifically ideated by Communications Secretary Jason Knauf.
The lawsuit has been stressful in a number of ways, but a remote hearing on Wednesday, May 5 resulted in an important victory for Meghan. During the hearing, it was revealed that Knauf had "emphatically” denied helping Meghan draft the letter to her father. In fact, the earliest drafts of the heartfelt message had started in the Notes app of her iPhone around August 2018, and Knauf and Prince Harry had only looked over it briefly.
“Mr. Knauf did not draft, and has never claimed to have drafted, any parts of the electronic draft or the letter," read an official court statement obtained by People from the Keeper of the Privy Purse (aka, Her Majesty the Queen's people). "[Knauf was involved] for support, as this was a deeply painful process that they had lived through with her and because Mr. Knauf was responsible for keeping the senior members of the royal household apprised of any public-facing issues."
This revelation ultimately played a part in High Court Judge Mark Warby's ruling, which asserted that Meghan is in fact the sole copyright owner of the letter. As such, Mail on Sunday did infringe on her copyright of the letter by publishing it. It's a big win, but there are other aspects of the lawsuit left to tackle; Meghan's team still has to prove that Mail of Sunday misused her private information and breached the Data Protect Act in order to win damages from the outlet.