LONDON -- The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, on Thursday won a court battle against the publisher of British tabloids "Mail On Sunday" and "MailOnline" for violating her privacy by publishing a letter she wrote to her father, Thomas Markle.
The High Court in London ruled that Megan had a "reasonable expectation that the contents of the letter would remain private."
Markle sued Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL), publisher of the aforementioned newspapers, for misuse of private information, copyright infringement and breach of data protection laws in relation to a series of five articles published in February 2019 that featured extracts of the letter she sent to her estranged father in August 2018.
The judge said the publication of the correspondence was "manifestly excessive, and therefore unlawful", since it was "a personal and private letter", which addressed aspects of the ill-fated relationship between the father and his daughter, who felt "distressed" by his behavior.
All of these, in the court's view, are "inherently private and personal matters," so it was "reasonable" for Markle to assume that their contents would not become public.
The magistrate used the "summary judgment" route to make his ruling, which means that part of the case will be resolved without the need to go to trial, although the charge of copyright infringement will have to be resolved due to doubts about the authorship of the letter.
The charge of violation of data protection law also remains to be resolved.
A new hearing will be held in March to outline the next steps in the process, the judge added.
In a statement, the Duchess of Sussex said she was “grateful to the court for holding Associated Newspapers and the Mail on Sunday to account for their illegal and dehumanizing practices."
"These tactics -- and those of their sister publications MailOnline and Daily Mail -- are not new. In fact they have been going on for far too long without consequence. For these outlets, it's a game. For me and so many others, it's real life, real relationships and very real sadness," she said.