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Meghan Markle Getty 14.jpg

Meghan Markle Took on the British Press and Won

By Kayleigh Donaldson | Celebrity | December 2, 2021 |

By Kayleigh Donaldson | Celebrity | December 2, 2021 |

Meghan Markle Getty 14.jpg

Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, has won the latest stage in her legal fight against the publisher of the Mail on Sunday newspaper. The court rejected the publication’s attempt to have its appeal go to trial after a High Court judge ruled in favor of Markle regarding the paper’s publishing of a letter she wrote to her father. This time, the judge said the issues were so clear-cut that there was no need for a full hearing.

In her statement, Meghan said that this ruling ‘is a victory not just for me, but for anyone who has ever felt scared to stand up for what’s right.’ She also said that ‘these harmful practices don’t happen once in a blue moon - they are a daily fail that divide us, and we all deserve better.’ I see what you did there!

Meghan wrote a letter to her estranged father Thomas Markle in 2018 and the Mail on Sunday published extracts of it. She chose to take the Associated Newspapers group to court on issues of privacy and copyright, arguing that the letter’s contents were personal and never intended for public consumption. The Mail on Sunday tried to break out all the big guns to win this case, most likely in the hopes that they would be able to mine it for further headlines while forcing Meghan to face them in the courtroom. The lawyers for the Mail on Sunday had argued that the letter was written with the knowledge that it could be leaked to the press, which Jason Knauf, an aide to the royal family, later confirmed. Meghan noted in written evidence that, while she ‘merely recognized that this was a possibility’ her father would leak the letter, the ‘main purpose’ of it was to encourage Thomas Markle to stop talking to the press. That obviously didn’t work.

This is a significant victory for Meghan in a case that she very easily could have lost given the financial and industry-wide might of the British tabloids. It was a high-risk gamble but it’s paid off in a major way. She’s succeeded in a legal battle with the press in a way that many royals could have only dreamed of, and it’s drawn a clear line in the sand: you might be a figure of public interest but your life is not public property.

It won’t do much to stop the attacks against her. I imagine the Mail on Sunday and its ilk will continue to milk this case for all its worth, especially after Meghan was forced to admit to an ‘unfortunate lapse of memory’ regarding how much information was given to authors writing a book about her. Still, this was never about winning over the press who never liked her to begin with. Perhaps it will make even the most ravenous vultures think twice before trying a stunt like this once more. Expect a hell of a lot of suddenly glowing reports on the rest of the royal family in the next week or so.

Also, abolish the monarchy.

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Kayleigh is a features writer and editor for Pajiba. You can follow her on Twitter or listen to her podcast, The Hollywood Read.

Header Image Source: Dia Dipasupil // Getty Images