Meghan Markle has suffered another major blow amid her ongoing legal battle against Associated Newspapers.
The Duchess of Sussex is suing Associated Newspapers, the publisher of the UK Mail on Sunday, for printing a “private and confidential” letter she sent her estranged father Thomas Markle in 2018.
The mother-of-one is seeking damages from Associated Newspapers Ltd (ANL) for alleged misuse of private information, copyright infringement and breach of the Data Protection Act.
During a High Court hearing in London last week, ANL submitted an application to amend their defense in light of a biography that was released last month, called Finding Freedom.
Anthony White, the lawyer for Associated Newspapers, said in written submissions that the book appeared to have been written with Meghan and Prince Harry’s “extensive cooperation.”
ANL’s legal team argued the book “contains a great deal of detailed information about (Meghan’s) personal life, including a number of passages referring to her relationship and communications with her father, and a section referring to the letter which is at the heart of this case.”
Court submissions claim that if Meghan “provided extensive cooperation to the authors and permitted a detailed account of her private life, relationships, thoughts and feelings to be published, including references to her relationship and communications with her father, it is difficult to see how she can complain that the Letter should not have been published because ‘it contained the Claimant’s deepest and most private thoughts and feelings.’”
Responding to ANL’s application, Meghan’s lawyers denied that she co-operated with authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand on Finding Freedom, which was published last month.
In a written submission, Justin Rushbrooke QC said: “The claimant and her husband did not collaborate with the authors on the book, nor were they interviewed for it, nor did they provide photographs to the authors for the book.”
Omid Scobie also submitted a witness statement to the High Court, and denied allegations that Meghan helped with the book.
Unfortunately for Meghan, Judge Francesca Kaye ruled today that The Mail on Sunday can rely on Finding Freedom in its defence in the High Court.
In her ruling, the Judge said: “[Meghan] says she had nothing to do with the information in the public domain, either directly or indirectly. She says ‘it’s nothing to do with me’, which is a simple case.”
“If it’s a house of cards, then it will quickly fall down at trial. But I’m satisfied the amendments are arguable.”
According to The Sun, Meghan’s lawyer Justin Rushbrooke QC asked for permission to appeal against the ruling, but Judge Francesca Kaye refused.
However, the Duchess’ legal team could still pursue an appeal to the Court of Appeal.
The trial is scheduled to begin on January 11, 2021.
On the latest episode of #GossChats, Goss.ie CEO Ali Ryan chats with top makeup artist and influencer Keilidh Cashell about her brand new makeup range, adjusting to life in the spotlight and how she’s kept calm during the pandemic.
#GossChats is sponsored by top Irish aesthetic clinic Haus of JeJuve.