Black History Month is all about joy at The Root and our Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, has reason to be joyous today as she won the first step in her lawsuit against the Daily Mail on Sunday and Associated Newspapers for violating her privacy. The British tabloid published parts of a personal letter she had originally sent to her father, Thomas Markle, in August 2018.
According to the New York Times, Markle wrote the letter to her father after he failed to show at the royal wedding. Meghan and Thomas have an estranged relationship, and she tells him how by not attending her wedding he broke her heart into “a million pieces.”
High Court Judge Mark Warby ruled in her favor, stating that Markle had “reasonable expectation that the contents of the letter would remain private… The Mail articles interfered with that reasonable expectation.”
Markle has been engaged in a legal battle with the Mail on Sunday and Associated Newspapers since October 2019. Markle has also stated that she’d tried to reach out to her father following the wedding, but he fielded her calls, a claim that contradicts a quote in the initial publication of the article.
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The ruling in her favor means that Markle no longer has to testify against the Mail in the upcoming trial, saving her from having to relive and recount the entirety of the trauma from the past year and a half.
In an interview with Markle, CNN reports that she is “grateful to the courts for holding Associated Newspapers and the Mail on Sunday to account for their illegal and dehumanizing practices.”
Associated Newspapers continues to stand by its original decision to publish the letter in February 2019. According to the Associated Press, they are reportedly shocked by the ruling, stating they are “very surprised by today’s summary judgment and disappointed at being denied the chance to have all the evidence heard and tested in open court at a full trial. We are carefully considering the judgment’s contents and will decide in due course whether to lodge an appeal.”
Whether or not Associated Newspapers files an appeal, the next trial hearing is scheduled to take place on March 2.