Meghan Markle Triumphs in Copyright Lawsuit, Wins Apology
Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.
Meghan Markle has emerged victorious after a long legal battle with the publishers of the U.K.'s Mail on Sunday — and received an apology from the paper.
After several rulings that the Mail on Sunday and Mail Online had breached Markle's privacy nearly three years ago with the publication of parts of a private five-page letter she had written to her estranged father after her wedding, the paper agreed to announce her victory.
In a front-page announcement, the paper wrote, "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. 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. 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 apology will also appear at Mail Online for "one week" with a link to the judgment and summary.
The publisher's decision to report the case's outcome and apologize follows a December 2 decision by the Court of Appeal in London upholding previous decisions in the case.
Along with the apology, the Duchess of Sussex will receive 90% of her legal fees and "substantial financial damages."
On December 2, 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. 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."