Meghan Markle: Court case is a ‘huge win’ for Royals says expert
The Duchess of Sussex has won her privacy case against Associated Newspapers for publishing extracts from a letter she wrote to her father Thomas Markle. However, the judge said he would not give a summary judgement on the copyright claim and a trial date for that has been set for March 2. In her statement on the ruling, Meghan claimed a “comprehensive win” on both issues, despite one being, as of yet, unresolved.
Meghan also chose to use her statement to slate alleged “misinformation” spread about her in the media, when the case in question wasn’t about accuracy at all, it was about privacy.
Indeed, she has been vindicated on the privacy issue, but there is no court ruling backing up her claim of misinformation.
The Duchess wrote in her statement: “After two long years of pursuing litigation, I am grateful to the courts for holding Associated Newspapers and the Mail on Sunday to account for their illegal and dehumanising practices.
“These tactics ‒ and those of their sister publications Mail Online and Daily Mail ‒ are not new…
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“For these outlets, it’s a game. For me and so many others, it’s real life, real relationships and very real sadness.
“The damage they have done and continues to do runs deep.
“The world needs reliable, fact-checked, high-quality news. What the Mail on Sunday and its partner publications do is the opposite.
“We all lose when misinformation sells more than truth, when moral exploitation sells more than decency, and when companies create their business model to profit from people’s pain.
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“But, for today, with this comprehensive win on both privacy and copyright, we have all won.”
Pod Save the Queen is hosted by Ann Gripper and features Daily Mirror royal editor Russell Myers.
Ms Gripper started by acknowledging that there has been some “confusion” over the court ruling, specifically over whether Meghan has won on both counts or just privacy.
She said this is, in part, due to Meghan’s own statement in which she claims a “comprehensive win” on both privacy and copyright.
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Ms Gripper said: “She was claiming a total victory in it, but there are still elements of the court case to come.”
Mr Myers explained that the judge was reserving judgement on the copyright part, because he was not sure whether Meghan was the sole author or co-author of the letter.
It is known that Meghan discussed the letter with staff in the Palace, in particular with then-Communications Secretary Jason Knauf.
Ms Gripper then addressed Meghan’s “misinformation” claim, pointing out that the trial was not about that.
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She said: “I think the other thing was in Meghan’s statement when she was essentially slating inaccuracies or ‘misinformation’, whereas the cases that were brought, it wasn’t about accuracy and whether the information was true or not.
“It was about whether they had a right to publish it and whether it was private and whether they had the legal rights to that.”
Mr Myers agreed, and added that the Mail on Sunday and its sister newspapers are also hugely successful campaigning newspapers that have done a lot of good work over the past year.
Due to this, he felt that the broad attack on the outlet and on the media as a whole was potentially inappropriate.
He said: “On that point, I think that the statement was widely used as a broadside against the media and I don’t think necessarily that was the time or place.
“I’m just looking at it now, talking about how it had been going on far too long without consequences, ‘for these outlets it’s a game’, ‘the damage they’ve done and continues to do runs deep’, ‘the world needs reliable , fact-checked high-quality news’, ‘what the Mail on Sunday and its partner publications do is the opposite.’
“I mean, that’s pretty punchy, because Associated Newspapers has hugely successful newspapers, they’ve had huge success with Covid, doing the Mail Force programme, getting PPE onto the frontline.
“So I think this broadside against the company and the media at large was probably uncalled for.”
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