Friday Nov 26, 2021
A British court will rule next week on an appeal by Associated Newspapers against a previous judgement that it breached Meghan Markle´s privacy by publishing a letter to her father, court listings showed on Friday.
The newspaper group, which publishes the Mail on Sunday, Daily Mail and MailOnline, is appealing against a High Court decision that the letter deserved privacy protections.
Judges are expected to deliver their verdict next Thursday.
Meghan won a comprehensive victory in February when a judge agreed that extracts of the 2018 letter published the following year were "manifestly excessive and... unlawful".
The judge ordered Associated Newspapers to pay hundreds of thousands of pounds in interim legal costs and to print a front-page statement acknowledging her legal victory.
But that has been on hold while it appeals the ruling, arguing that Meghan wrote the correspondence knowing it was likely to be leaked, and despite claiming the opposite.
The letter to her estranged father Thomas Markle was written a few months after she married Queen Elizabeth II´s grandson Prince Harry.
In it, she asked him to stop talking to tabloids and making false claims about her in interviews.
Meghan, 40, and 37-year-old Harry, who now live in the United States after stepping down from frontline royal duties last year, have taken legal action against a number of publications, alleging invasion of privacy.
In its Court of Appeal bid in London, Associated Newspapers is relying in part on testimony from Meghan´s former communications adviser, Jason Knauf.
Earlier this month, she apologised to the court after admitting being involved in a favourable biography of her short tenure as a frontline royal in Britain, despite her and Harry having previously denied it.
The publishers submitted a witness statement from Knauf which outlined that the couple provided information to the authors of a biography, "Finding Freedom".
The best-selling book was "discussed on a routine basis" and "directly with the duchess multiple times in person and over email", he added.
In her own witness statement, Meghan apologised for misleading the court, accepting that she had forgotten that Knauf had provided some information to, and even met with, the authors with her "knowledge".
"The extent of the information he shared is unknown to me," she added, noting she had "absolutely no wish or intention to mislead the defendant or the court"...AFP