Meghan Markle vs The Daily Mail: Duchess gets apology and 'financial remedies'
Meghan Markle has been given a public apology following a court battle with the publishers of the Mail on Sunday. The front page of the publication had an apology printed on it after the Mail on Sunday and the Mail Online website breached Markle's privacy in February 2019. Back then, the publication printed elements of a five-page letter she wrote to her father following her wedding to Prince Harry in May 2018.
"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," the front page notice reads. "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."
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Judge Mark Warby of the High Court in London had demanded that the Mail on Sunday couple the apology with a longer "notice" inside the newspaper under the headline, "The Duchess of Sussex", stating that the court found "Associated Newspapers infringed her [Meghan's] copyright by publishing extracts of her handwritten letter to her father in The Mail on Sunday and in Mail Online." He also said that the apology must appear on the homepage of Mail Online "for a period of one week". He demanded that a hyperlink be included in the official judgment and summary under the wording, "The full judgment and the Court's summary of it can be found here."
On December 2, the Court of Appeal in London upheld Judge Warby's decision in the privacy and copyright infringement case. Besides the apology, Markle may also receive substantial financial damages from the newspaper group. It was ruled in March that the group must pay 90% of Markle's estimated $1.88 million legal expenses for pursuing the 18-month-long case.
Markle said in a December 2 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," 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. In the nearly three years since this began, I have been patient in the face of deception, intimidation, and calculated attacks," Markle said.