Meghan calls for press overhaul as Mail on Sunday loses its appeal
The Guardian|December 03, 2021
The Duchess of Sussex yesterday called for a reshaping of the tabloid newspaper industry and said she had been patient in the face of “deception, intimidation, and calculated attacks ” as the Mail on Sunday lost its appeal in its three-year privacy battle with her over a letter to her estranged father.
Caroline Davies

Meghan sued Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL), which is also the publisher of Mail Online, over five articles reproducing parts of the “personal and private” letter to Thomas Markle in August 2018.

She won her case earlier this year when a high court judge gave summary judgment in her favour without need for a trial. ANL appealed on the grounds the case should go to trial on Meghan’s claims, including breach of privacy and copyright.

Dismissing the appeal, the court of appeal judges Sir Geoffrey Vos, Dame Victoria Sharp and Lord Justice Bean upheld Lord Justice Warby’s decision to grant summary judgment, and ruled that the duchess had a “reasonable expectation of privacy” in the contents of the letter.

“Those contents were personal, private and not matters of legitimate public interest,” Vos said in a summary of the ruling read aloud.

In a statement, the duchess said: “This is a victory not just for me, but for anyone who has ever felt scared to stand up for what’s right. 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.

“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. The longer they dragged it out, the more they could twist facts and manipulate the public (even during the appeal itself), making a straightforward case extraordinarily convoluted in order to generate more headlines and sell more newspapers – a model that rewards chaos above truth.

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