By Marie Claire Editors published
Meghan Markle can rest a little bit easier now that her three-year court battle against the U.K. publication The Mail on Sunday and its website MailOnline has come to a close—with the Duchess victorious. The lawsuit, over privacy and copyright infringement, stems from the publication in February 2019 of a five-page private letter Meghan sent to her father shortly before her wedding to Prince Harry.
Part of the ruling required the paper to print an apology to Meghan, which it has complied with after appealing the ruling over the last year, ultimately unsuccessfully. "The Duchess of Sussex wins her legal case for copyright infringement against Associated Newspapers for articles published in The Mail on Sunday and posted on Mail Online," the front page of the paper reads on Sunday, December 26, per People.
The apology continues on page three: “Following a hearing on 19-20 January, 2021, and a further hearing on 5 May, 2021, the Court has given judgment for the Duchess of Sussex on her claim for copyright infringement. The Court found that Associated Newspapers infringed her copyright by publishing extracts of her handwritten letter to her father in The Mail on Sunday and on Mail Online. Financial remedies have been agreed.” The apology, as ordered by the judge, must stay on the homepage of MailOnline for one week.
In addition to the public mea culpa, Meghan is expected to get significant financial damages as well. In a statement on December 2, Meghan released a statement praising the court’s decision, calling it a win against an increasingly vicious U.K. tabloid industry that has made a point of directing considerable ire toward Meghan.
"While this win is precedent setting, what matters most is that we are now collectively brave enough to reshape a tabloid industry that conditions people to be cruel, and profits from the lies and pain that they create,” she wrote.
Then she made a point of calling out the tactics that the paper used as she fought to defend herself. "From day one, I have treated this lawsuit as an important measure of right versus wrong. The defendant has treated it as a game with no rules...a model that rewards chaos above truth. In the nearly three years since this began, I have been patient in the face of deception, intimidation, and calculated attacks."
While the harassment that’s become a hallmark of the tabloid industry likely won’t go away as a result of just one lawsuit, the public apology is a nice touch—it serves as a warning to other publications that seek to harm the reputation of the Duchess, or any public figure, that a story can’t come at the cost of someone’s privacy or rights.
With this win, Meghan has put them on notice: You come for the Duchess, you best not miss.
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