Motor

An interim payment worth $862,000 is to be paid to the Duchess by a British media company with a possibility of more to be paid in “financial remedies”, UK court orders.

A British newspaper publisher that lost a privacy dispute with Meghan Markle has been ordered to pay £450,000 (NZ$862,000) to the Duchess.
Associated Newspapers said Tuesday it planned to appeal against the judges ruling that it invaded Markles privacy by publishing parts of a letter she wrote to her estranged father after her 2018 marriage to Prince Harry.
The American former actress sued the publisher in the UK for invasion of privacy and copyright infringement over five February 2019 articles in the Mail on Sunday and on the MailOnline website that reproduced large portions of a letter she wrote to her father, Thomas Markle.
High Court judge Mark Warby ruled last month that the publisher had misused the duchess private information and infringed her copyright. He said the duchess had a reasonable expectation that the contents of the letter would remain private and concluded the papers publication of large chunks of it was manifestly excessive and hence unlawful.
READ MORE:* Meghan Markle wins privacy case against U.K. tabloid and slams its ‘dehumanizing practices’* Meghan Markle says she is ‘grateful to the courts’ after winning court case against British newspaper* Meghan’s letter to father Thomas Markle focus of Daily Mail lawsuit
In written submissions released as part of a court hearing on Tuesday, Associated Newspapers lawyer Antony White sought permission to appeal, saying a bid to overturn Warbys ruling would have a real prospect of success.
The publisher’s lawyers argue that the duchess wrote the letter not simply as a private message to her father, but for the public record upon advice from royal family members and palace communications staff and for use as part of a media strategy.
The judge refused permission to appeal, saying he saw no real prospect of another court reaching a different conclusion than he had.
The Court of Appeal, of course, may take a different view, he said, adding that Associated Newspapers can take its case directly to the appeals court.
Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle.
Lawyers for Meghan, meanwhile, demanded the publisher hand over the letter and destroy any electronic copies or notes it held. They also asked the judge to order the Mail on Sunday to remove the five articles from its website and to run a front-page statement about the duchess legal victory.
Ian Mill, an attorney for Meghan, said the defendant defiantly continues to do the very acts which the court has held are unlawful.
The publisher’s lawyers agreed to remove the articles from the website until the legal issues are resolved. The judge didn’t immediately rule on the request to hand over the letter.
He ordered Associated Newspapers to make an interim payment of £450,000 (NZ$862,000) towards Meghan’s legal costs, and said further financial remedies would be dealt with later.
Meghan, a former star of the American TV legal drama Suits, married Harry, a grandson of Queen Elizabeth II, at Windsor Castle in May 2018. Their son, Archie, was born the following year.
In early 2020, Meghan and Harry announced they were quitting royal duties and moving to North America, citing what they said were the unbearable intrusions and racist attitudes of the British media. They recently bought a house in Santa Barbara, California, and are expecting a second child.
In his ruling last month, the judge ruled in Meghan’s favour on most points, but said a limited trial should be held to decide the minor issue of whether the duchess was the sole author and lone copyright holder of the letter. It is expected to take place in the fall.