Meghan Markle's legal team has lost the first battle in her privacy case against the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday's publisher, but the heart of the case will continue to be litigated. The Duchess of Sussex is arguing the Mail on Sunday breached her privacy when it published excerpts of a handwritten, private letter she sent to her father Thomas Markle.
Royal reporters Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand wrote that the judge struck out three categories of allegations. Scobie explained they were struck out on these grounds: "Publisher’s motive is not relevant in a privacy claim; Litigating the issues would be disproportionately complicated; and Elements had been introduced in a way that did not meet some procedural requirements."
He added that Meghan will not be appealing this ruling and the case will move forward. The Mail on Sunday's legal rep, Scobie added, conceded this ruling "will not affect Meghan’s ability 'to get home' on the case." The next hearing date is not set yet.
Meghan's legal team Schillings released a statement following the ruling:
Today’s ruling makes very clear that the core elements of this case do not change and will continue to move forward. The Duchess’ rights were violated; the legal boundaries around privacy were crossed. As part of this process, the extremes to which The Mail on Sunday used distortive, manipulative, and dishonest tactics to target the Duchess of Sussex have been put on full display.
Whilst the Judge recognizes that there is a claim for breach of privacy and copyright, we are surprised to see that his ruling suggests that dishonest behavior is not relevant. We feel honesty and integrity are at the core of what matters; or as it relates to the Mail on Sunday and Associated Newspapers, their lack thereof. Nonetheless, we respect the Judge’s decision as the strong case against Associated will continue to focus on the issue of a private, intimate, and hand-written letter from a daughter to her father that was published by The Mail on Sunday. This gross violation of any person’s right to privacy is obvious and unlawful, and The Mail on Sunday should be held accountable for their actions.
Alyssa Bailey News and Strategy Editor Alyssa Bailey is the news and strategy editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage of celebrities and royals (particularly Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton).