Saturday, February 27, 2021

Court to hear Meghan Markle’s privacy case against newspaper

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Meghan Markle

Meghan Markle’s high-profile lawsuit against a group of British newspapers for privacy and copyright violations returns to court in London on Tuesday, with the Duchess possibly days from winning the case.

Meghan, who with her husband Prince Harry is waging an increasingly public war with some media outlets, is suing the editors of the Mail on Sunday, Daily Mail and MailOnline.

The former American television actress claims Associated Newspapers violated her privacy, data protection rights and copyright by publishing excerpts of correspondence with her father, Thomas, prior to marrying Harry.

Judge Mark Warby approved an earlier request from the Duchess to postpone the trial. Instead, his legal team requested that a judgment be rendered without the need for a full trial.

If Warby rules in favor of the Duchess, then the case ends, excludes an appeal.

If he loses, he will undergo a full trial later this year, which could force Meghan and her estranged father to face each other in court to testify.

Warby ruled against royalty in a preliminary hearing last year, removing elements of the claim.

Meghan alleges the reporters acted “dishonestly and in bad faith” and “deliberately dug up or caused conflict” between her and her father.

She claimed that they had an “obvious agenda to publish intrusive or offensive stories” that were “intended to portray her in a false and harmful light.”

Last year, the High Court allowed the newspaper group to amend its defense against the claim, claiming that the couple were willing to give journalists access to the letter when circumstances suited them.

Associated accuses Meghan of giving authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand details about the letter to portray their version of events in a more favorable light.

The newsgroup also claims that it wanted to use the handwritten letter “as part of a media strategy” and discussed it with actual communications officials before sending it.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who left their front-line royal duties in March citing media intrusion, have denied being involved in the publication of the book “Finding Freedom.”

Harry, grandson of Queen Elizabeth II and son of the heir to the throne, Prince Charles and the late Diana, Princess of Wales, has brought separate cases against two other British tabloid editors for alleged phone hacking.

He and Meghan now live with their young son Archie in the United States, where they have established a charitable foundation.

[AFP]

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