Meghan Markle slams 'deception and intimidation' after court victory over Mail on Sunday

2 December 2021, 10:12 | Updated: 2 December 2021, 12:41

Meghan Markle has won a legal battle against the Mail on Sunday.
The Mail on Sunday has lost an appeal in its legal battle with Meghan Markle. . Picture: Alamy

By Sophie Barnett

The publisher of the Mail on Sunday has lost its appeal in the latest round of a privacy battle with the Duchess of Sussex.

The Duchess of Sussex sued Associated Newspapers Limited over five articles that reproduced parts of a "personal and private" letter sent to her father Thomas Markle in August 2018.

The MoS were appealing a loss earlier this year - in which a High Court Judge found they breached the Duchess' copyright and privacy.

The Court of Appeal has just rejected their arguments.

Giving a summary of the Court of Appeal's decision to dismiss Associated Newspapers' appeal, Sir Geoffrey Vos said: "The Court of Appeal upheld the judge's decision that the duchess had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the contents of the letter.

"Those contents were personal, private and not matters of legitimate public interest.

"The articles in the Mail on Sunday interfered with the duchess' reasonable expectation of privacy and were not a justified or proportionate means of correcting inaccuracies about the letter."

Mail on Sunday publisher loses appeal over Meghan letter to her dad

Sir Geoffrey added: "It was hard to see what evidence could have been adduced at trial that would have altered the situation.

"The judge had been in as good a position as any trial judge to look at the article in People magazine, the letter and The Mail On Sunday articles to decide if publication of the contents of the letter was appropriate to rebut the allegations against Mr Markle.

"The judge had correctly decided that, whilst it might have been proportionate to publish a very small part of the letter for that purpose, it was not necessary to publish half the contents of the letter as ANL had done."

In a statement after the ruling, Meghan said: "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.

"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.

"In the nearly three years since this began, I have been patient in the face of deception, intimidation and calculated attacks.

"Today, the courts ruled in my favour - again - cementing that The Mail on Sunday, owned by Lord Jonathan Rothermere, has broken the law."

This story is being updated