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Saturday, 16 January 2021

Meghan Markle's tabloid lawsuit has first hearing

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Meghan Markle's tabloid lawsuit has first hearing
Meghan Markle's tabloid lawsuit has first hearing

Legal action by Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, against a British tabloid for breaching her privacy had its first court hearing on Friday, with the newspaper's lawyer attempting to have claims that it had acted dishonestly struck out.

Lauren Anthony reports.

The first court hearing in a privacy case brought by Britain's Duchess of Sussex took place on Friday (April 24).

Meghan, the wife of Queen Elizabeth's grandson Prince Harry, is suing publisher Associated Newspapers over articles in its Mail on Sunday tabloid, which were based on a letter she had sent to her father, Thomas Markle, last February.

Lawyers for the duchess say its publication was a misuse of private information and breached her copyright, and they are seeking aggravated damages from the paper.

The paper's counter-argument was that, given Meghan's royal status, there was legitimate public interest in her personal and family relationships.

Meghan and her father fell out over her glitzy, pomp-laden wedding to Harry in May 2018.

Her father pulled out days beforehand after undergoing heart surgery, and following news he had staged photos with a paparazzi photographer.

Speculation about his attendance dominated the build-up to the ceremony.

Documents from Meghan’s lawyers accused the Mail and other tabloids of harassing, humiliating, and manipulating Markle, and contributing towards the fallout.

Given Britain's virtual lockdown, the High Court hearing was held by video.

Meghan and Harry, who are living in the Los Angeles area having stepped down from their royal roles at the end of last month, were expected to listen remotely to part of the hearing, according to a source.

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