Last October, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry announced that they would be seeking damages from British tabloid Mail on Sunday for "spreading relentless propaganda." After several false starts and missteps, the case is moving forward, and the Duchess is hoping to end things neatly without even having to go to trial.
People reports that Meghan's legal team will be heading to court on Thursday to make a case for a summary judgment made by the presiding judge instead of a typical a trial. Should that argument not work — though the team is reportedly confident that it will — the prosecution will reportedly request for a delay. Now that the biography is being included in the lawsuit as defense against Meghan's claims of privacy violation, the prosecution needs more time to work on its argument.
According to People, the summary judgment would be the difference between keeping the case private and making it into a public spectacle. If the judge rules against a summary judgment, that would force Meghan to take the stand, testifying against Mail on Sunday as well as her father Thomas Markle.
The case against popular publisher Mail on Sunday is being built on claims that the tabloids violated Meghan and Harry's privacy for years, and the publishing of a private letter that Meghan penned to her father is at the center of the suit. The Sussexes are suing Associated Newspapers Ltd. (the company that owns Mail on Sunday and its online outlet MailOnline) for alleged misuse of private information, copyright infringement, and breach of the Data Protection Act. More charges were named in the case — dishonesty and malicious intent among them — but the judge dismissed them as "irrelevant" early on.
Months into the lawsuit, things are only getting more complicated. In August, press correspondents Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand released Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family, and the biographical book pulled back the layers of Meghan and Harry's time as official members of The Firm. Unfortunately, that same book is now being used as evidence that the couple had "lost [their] rights to privacy in the contents of the letter" because they did not actively attempt to prevent Finding Freedom from being released. As a result, all of the people who spoke to Scobie and Durand for the book could very well be summoned to speak in court.
The whole thing is getting ugly, complicated, and very personal, which is probably the exact opposite outcome that Meghan and Harry were looking for when first sued.