Fashion

Meghan Markle could receive more than £1.5MILLION after winning three year High Court privacy battle

MEGHAN Markle could receive more than £1.5million after winning her three-year High Court privacy battle.

The Mail on Sunday has acknowledged the Duchess of Sussex won her copyright claim against the newspaper's publisher for printing extracts of a letter she wrote to her estranged dad – and have agreed to pay "financial remedies".


Meghan, 40, sued Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL), also the publisher of MailOnline, over five articles that reproduced parts of the "personal and private" note to Thomas Markle, 77, in August 2018.

The duchess won her case earlier this year when a High Court judge ruled in her favour without a full trial.

Meghan, whose "Brand Sussex" with husband Prince Harry is worth an estimated £250m, demanded payment in legal fees and for the paper to hand over any copies of the letter and destroy any electronic versions or notes made about it.

Her team said her legal costs were estimated to be £1.5m – demanding half was paid within 14 days – but Lord Justice Warby ordered the Mail on Sunday to pay £450,000 in costs, with the possibility of more to be paid in the future.

She also asked the paper to print a statement on its front page saying she had won her privacy case, while insisting the MailOnline should have a piece on its homepage for six months.

Yesterday's Mail on Sunday featured the printed statement acknowledging her win.

Along the bottom of the Boxing Day front page, it read: "The Duchess of Sussex wins her legal case for copyright infringement against Associated Newspapers for articles published in The Mail on Sunday and posted on Mail Online – SEE PAGE 3."

The on page three, under the heading 'The Duchess of Sussex, it said: "Following a hearing on 19-20 January, 2021, and a further hearing on 5 May, 2021, the Court has given judgment for the Duchess of Sussex on her claim for copyright infringement.

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"The Court found that Associated Newspapers infringed her copyright by publishing extracts of her handwritten letter to her father in The Mail on Sunday and on Mail Online.

"Financial remedies have been agreed."

The statement about Meghan's victory was put on hold to allow ANL time to seek permission to appeal.

At a three-day hearing in November, the publisher argued the case should go to a trial on Meghan's claims against the publisher – including breach of privacy and copyright.

ANL's lawyers argued hat new evidence from Jason Knauf, former communications secretary to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, suggested Meghan wrote the letter with the understanding that it could be leaked.

But the challenge was dismissed by Court of Appeal judges in a ruling earlier this month.

They agreed that theduchess had a "reasonable expectation" of privacy regarding the contents of the letter, which were "not matters of legitimate public interest".

'GAME WITH NO RULES'

Meghan claimed it was a victory "not just for me, but for anyone who has ever felt scared to stand up for what's right".

She added: "From day one, I have treated this lawsuit as an important measure of right versus wrong.

"The defendant has treated it as a game with no rules.

"The longer they dragged it out, the more they could twist facts and manipulate the public (even during the appeal itself), making a straightforward case extraordinarily convoluted in order to generate more headlines and sell more newspapers – a model that rewards chaos above truth."

Meghan and Harry could could become the "world's richest personal brand", according to an expert.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex may have stepped down as senior royals, but that doesn’t seem to have hindered their ability to rake in the cash.

Between them, they have job in banking and at a Silicon Valley startup., multimillion dollar partnerships with Netflix, Spotify and Apple, investments in vegan coffee, a children's book and an upcoming memoir, and well-paid public speaking gigs.

Andrew Bloch, branding expert and founder of Frank PR, told Fabulous: "I would estimate their combined net worth is circa £250million."

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