Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Mail on Sunday defends publishing Meghan's letter to her father

The Mail on Sunday will use evidence from the Duchess of Sussex's father, Thomas Markle, in a High Court battle over the publication of a private letter she wrote to him.

Meghan accuses the paper of misusing her private information, breaching copyright and selective editing.

The Mail on Sunday rejects the claims and says there was "huge and legitimate" public interest in publishing the note.

No date has been set for the case.


Documents submitted to the High Court by the paper laying out its defence show much of the evidence it looks like it will rely upon comes from Mr Markle.

He was at the centre of controversy in the lead up to Meghan's marriage to Prince Harry in 2018.

The documents include text messages sent from Mr Markle to his daughter ahead of the wedding.

"The fact that so much of the evidence appears to come directly from him and that he appears to be co-operating with the paper presents at least the possibility of him being called to testify in court against his own daughter," BBC reporter John Donnison said.

The newspaper has given what BBC royal correspondent Jonny Dymond describes as a "very robust" response to Meghan's claims.

The paper argues in legal documents that members of the Royal Family, including the duchess, "rely on publicity about themselves and their lives in order to maintain the privileged positions they hold and promote themselves".

It said the duchess "did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy that the contents of the letter were private and would remain so".

"There is a huge and legitimate public interest in the Royal Family and the activities, conduct and standards of behaviour of its members," it said.

"This extends not merely to their public conduct, but to their personal and family relationships because those are integral to the proper functioning of the monarchy."

As evidence that it did not infringe her privacy, the paper says the letter was "immaculately copied" in Meghan's "elaborate handwriting", arguing that this care in its presentation meant she anticipated it would be seen and read by a wider audience.

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