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Meghan Markle Wins Another Legal Victory Against British Tabloid Over Letter to Dad

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Meghan Markle has won another victory against a British tabloid after filing a lawsuit over its publication of excerpts from a private letter she wrote her estranged father.

On Wednesday, May 6, a London High Court judge issued a summary judgment in the Duchess of Sussex’s favor regarding an outstanding issue of who owns copyright to the five-page, handwritten letter.

The Mail on Sunday published parts of it in February 2019. The letter was provided by Meghan’s dad, Thomas Markle. She wrote it in August 2018, two months after her and Prince Harry‘s wedding, which he did not attend due to illness. Thomas had told the U.K. tabloid The Sun, which was not part of the lawsuit, that the last time he spoke to his daughter was in a phone call just after the nuptials.

In fall 2019, the duchess sued the newspaper’s publisher, Associated Newspapers Limited, over the publication of the letter excerpts, seeking damages for misuse of private information, copyright infringement and breach of the Data Protection Act of 2018. She won most of her lawsuit this past February. The High Court judge issued a summary judgment in Meghan’s favor of her claim for misuse of private information, saying the duchess “had a reasonable expectation that the contents of the Letter would remain private.”

In March, the High Court ordered ANL to pay Meghan 90% of her estimated $1.88 million in legal expenses. She was awarded 450,000 pounds ($625,000) as an interim payment. In his latest judgment, the judge ordered the publisher to pay the remaining 10% of her estimated legal expenses.

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