Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex (pictured on her wedding day to Prince Harry) has been awarded $800,000 as a provisional payment towards her legal costs after winning a privacy claim against the Mail on Sunday.
The publication printed extracts of a letter to Markle from her estranged father in 2018, a decision that was ultimately ruled by a judge to have breached her privacy and copyright.
In February, Judge Mark Warby (now Lord Justice Darby) ruled in the Duchess’s favour without a trial, asserting that she had a “reasonable expectation that the contents of the letter would remain private.”
The most recent financial award, which in the UK is £450,000, is towards her legal fees which cost most than £1.5 million.
Lord Justice Warby has ruled that Associated Newspaper Ltd, which owns The Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday, should pay ninety per cent of that sum.
ANL tried to appeal the decision, on the basis that they could only pay seventy-five per cent. The judge denied the appeal, though ANL can try and apply directly to the Court of Appeal.
The $800,000 is an interim sum, though Warby said that the final sum may be “considerably more than that.”
Markle’s legal team has also requested a front-page apology from the Mail on Sunday, with a notice that Markle has won her case on the MailOnline home page for at least six months. They have also asked for the return of any copies of the letter.
In the February ruling, Lord Justice Warby said that publishing the letter was “manifestly excessive and hence unlawful” and that “the majority of what was published was about the claimant’s own behaviour, her feelings of anguish about her father’s behaviour, as she saw it, and the resulting rift between them.”
The Duchess and her husband, Prince Harry, moved from the UK to California in July of 2020 after stepping back from full-time royal life last March.
They are currently quarantining in the US, in the event that Prince Harry has to return to London due to his grandfather Prince Phillip’s ill-health. On Monday (London time) Prince Phillip was transferred to St Bart’s hospital via ambulance after a number of weeks in King Edward’s hospital.
This Sunday, an exclusive interview by chat show legend Oprah Winfrey’s with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will air.
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