So it proved for the Duchess of Sussex, a hate figure of the Rothermere press, but not because she is not white, oh no. Megs had previously beaten the increasingly wayward Mail on Sunday over their publication of a confidential letter from her to estranged father Thomas Markle. And once again, the MoS couldn’t just accept that: they rushed out a load of knocking copy as the judgment was handed down. Which was also untrue.
Moreover, the MoS decided it would fight on: Megs had obtained summary judgment, and the paper decided it would appeal in an attempt to have the matter decided at trial. So, as the Guardian has reported, “at a three-day hearing in November, [the paper] argued the case should go to trial on Meghan’s claims including breach of privacy and copyright”.
There was more. “During the appeal hearing, [Associated Newspapers Limited] argued Meghan had written the letter with the knowledge it could be leaked … ANL said it had new evidence in a witness statement, texts and emails from the Sussexes’ former communications chief Jason Knauf that showed she had sent him a draft of the letter”.
She had, it was claimed, told him “Obviously everything I have drafted is with the understanding that it could be leaked so I have been meticulous in my word choice”. Knauf “had ‘regretted’ not giving evidence before Meghan won her case, the appeal court judges heard”. Did ANL pay him to suddenly and fortuitously appear? We are not told.
As to Thomas Markle, “ANL argued that [Thomas] Markle was entitled to publish extracts from the letter to counter the negative image of him portrayed by five of Meghan’s friends in an article in US People magazine”. But, sad to say, all of these arguments have fallen on stony ground, and the Mail titles have once again lost, as the BBC has reported.
“The Duchess of Sussex has won the latest stage in her legal fight against [ANL]. The Court of Appeal rejected [ANL]’s attempt to have a trial over its publication of extracts from Meghan's letter to her father. A High Court judge earlier this year ruled in favour of the duchess in the privacy and copyright case. He said the issues were so clear cut there was no need for a full hearing. That decision has now been upheld”.
So will that be an end to the matter? As if. The Guardian has echoed the BBC’s characterisation: “The Mail on Sunday has lost its appeal in the latest round of the Duchess of Sussex’s privacy battle over a letter to her estranged father”. Latest round. Latest stage. The MoS will want to continue this particular legal offensive.
The legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre is back in the Mail fold, Ted Verity, formerly editor just of the MoS, now has oversight of both daily and Sunday titles, and both have a vindictive itch to scratch. So expect yet more smears and abuse of the Sussexes.
Which will land the Mail with yet more big legal bills. So good news for lawyers, then.
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