Associated Newspapers (known for publishing The Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday and Mail Online in the UK), lost its appeal against a High Court ruling which found that it had misused private information belonging to the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, and infringed her copyright. In this article, we summarise why Associated Newspapers lost at the Court of Appeal and provide key takeaways from this case.
Thanks to extensive press coverage, the facts are quite well-known:
- In May 2018, Meghan Markle, former US actress and star of legal drama “Suits”, married Prince Harry. The union sparked keen tabloid interest, in the UK and internationally.
- In August 2018, an apparent breakdown in the relationship between the Duchess and various family members prompted her to write a letter to her father. In the letter, the Duchess discussed their difficult relationship and her unhappiness with Mr Markle’s alleged propensity to sell stories about her to the British press.
- In February 2019, Mr Markle provided a copy of the letter to Associated Newspapers. Mr Markle said that he had done so because of an article published by People Magazine in the USA which misrepresented the correspondence from his daughter as an “olive branch”, when this was not the case.
- Associated Newspapers, presumably viewing the letter as a major journalist scoop, proceeded to publish several extensive extracts from the letter in five articles appearing in the Mail on Sunday and Mail Online…