Meghan, Duchess of Sussex loses first round of legal battle over letter to father

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex has lost the first round of her legal battle with the publisher of Britain’s Mail on Sunday newspaper over the publication of a letter to her father.

Meghan is suing Associated Newspapers after its Sunday tabloid printed the contents of a “private and confidential” handwritten note she sent to her father Thomas Markle in August 2018.

Prince Harry’s wife is seeking damages for alleged misuse of private information, copyright infringement and breach of the Data Protection Act, but lost the first stage of the legal fight after British High Court judge Mr Justice Warby struck out parts of Meghan’s case following a virtual hearing last Friday.

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According to British newspaper The Sun, Justice Warby wrote in a ruling on Friday: “Some of the allegations are struck out as irrelevant to the purpose for which they are pleaded. Some are struck out on the further or alternative ground that they are inadequately detailed.

“I have also acted so as to confine the case to what is reasonably necessary and proportionate for the purpose of doing justice between these parties.”

Among her allegations were ones that her “vulnerable” father was “harassed and humiliated”, “manipulated”, and “exploited” by Mail on Sunday journalists. Some parts of her complaint could be reinstated if given a proper legal basis.

Meghan is suing Associated Newspapers over five articles, two in the Mail on Sunday and three on MailOnline, which were published in February 2019 and reproduced sections of her letter. She has said any damages she is awarded will be donated to an anti-bullying charity.

Associated Newspapers chiefs fiercely deny her allegations – including one that sections of the letter were edited to portray a misleading picture of the relationship between father and daughter.

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