Meghan Markle’s Lawsuit Against British Tabloid Begins In London Court
A breach of privacy case brought against British tabloid Associated Newspapers by Meghan Markle began in London today.
Markle sued the media outlet for the publication of a letter she wrote to her estranged father Thomas Markle in August 2018.
Associated Newspaper is responsible for the publication of the Mail on Sunday and Mail Online.
The preliminary hearing was held at the High Court in London, with the judge in attendance but lawyers participating remotely because of coronavirus restrictions.
In her suit, the former “Suits” actress alleges that reporters “harassed and humiliated”, “manipulated and exploited” her “vulnerable” father before the publication.
Meghan’s 75-year-old father has said he felt pressured to share the letter after its contents were misrepresented in a magazine article.
Details of communications from the couple to him were revealed in court documents on Monday, in which they urged him in text messages not to speak to the media before their wedding.
Thomas Markle did not attend the marriage after he allegedly staged paparazzi-style photographs of himself for money.
However, Anthony White representing Associated Newspapers wats the court to strike out parts of Markle’s claim, in particular that the newspaper was responsible for causing the rift between father and daughter.
White said some of the allegations were irrelevant and had no proper legal basis.
It was “highly unlikely that she has any credible basis for these allegations of impropriety” towards her father, as she has had no contact with him since she got married to Prince Harry in 2018, he said.
The publisher had also not “acted dishonestly” in summarising or editing parts of the correspondence, which was standard practice in media reporting, he added.
Associated Newspapers denies it breached privacy in publishing the letter and that the letter was edited to change its meaning.
It is also facing a claim for copyright infringement and breach of data protection.
Markle’s husband Prince Harry also has legal action against another news house for allegedly intercepting voice messages.
The Duke of Sussex alleges that sections of the media of waging a “ruthless campaign” against his wife before and after their marriage in a glittering ceremony at Windsor Castle in May 2018.
He has said he feared “history repeating itself” given the treatment of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, during her lifetime.
She was killed in a high-speed car crash in Paris in August 1997 while being pursued by paparazzi photographers.
We recently reported that the royal couple said they would no longer speak to or cooperate with four major British tabloid newspapers, including the Daily Mail, accusing them of “distorted, false and invasive” reporting.