Success For Schillings In Meghan Markle Privacy Battle
The publisher of the Mail On Sunday has lost a Court of Appeal challenge against a ruling in favour of Meghan Markle, represented by Schillings, over the publication of a personal letter to her estranged father, Thomas Markle.
Meghan Markle sued Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL) over five articles that shared parts of a “personal and private” letter to Thomas Markle in August 2018.
Markle won her case earlier in 2021 when a high court judge gave summary judgement in her favour without the need for a trial. However, ANL brought an appeal, arguing the case should go to trial on Markle’s claims including breach of privacy and copyright.
ANL claimed that Markle had penned the letter with the knowledge that it could be leaked. Markle denied she thought it was likely that her father would leak the letter, though “merely recognised that this was a possibility.”
ANL later said it had new evidence in a witness statement in the form of texts and emails from the Duke and Duchess’s former communications chief Jason Knauf, in which she allegedly sent him a draft of the letter, saying, “Obviously everything I have drafted is with the understanding that it could be leaked so I have been meticulous in my word choice.”
However, Markle’s barristers argued that the letter was “deeply personal” and was “intended to be kept private.”
Following the win, Markle said in a statement, “This is a victory not just for me, but for anyone who has ever felt scared to stand up for what’s right. While this win is precedent-setting, what matters most is that we are now collectively brave enough to reshape a tabloid industry that conditions people to be cruel, and profits from the lies and pain that they create.”