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| 7 October 2022, Friday |

Meghan to Receive £1 in Damages after Privacy Case

BBC published the following article:

After the Mail on Sunday was judged to have breached her privacy, the Duchess of Sussex will receive £1 in damages from Associated Newspapers.

The nominal amount was specified in court records that legally certify the newspaper’s defeat.

In 2018, the duchess of Sussex sent a handwritten letter to her father, Thomas Markle, which was published in The Mail on Sunday.

In a second case of copyright infringement, the media corporation will pay an undisclosed sum.

Associated Newspapers had previously stated that it was planning another Supreme Court appeal, but it has now conceded defeat in the long-running lawsuit.

Last February, the High Court had ruled against the newspaper group on the issue of privacy and copyright – saying the issues in the case were so clear cut that there was no need for a full hearing.

Associated Newspapers was refused permission to appeal against the decision but went to the Court of Appeal in an attempt to get the original ruling overturned.

However, in December, the Court of Appeal rejected Associated Newspapers’ attempt to have a trial.

Judges at the appeal said it was hard to see what evidence at a trial would have altered the situation.

They added: “The judge had correctly decided that, whilst it might have been proportionate to publish a very small part of the letter… it was not necessary to publish half the contents of the letter.”

A spokesman for Associated Newspapers said at the time: “It is our strong view that judgment should be given only on the basis of evidence tested at trial, and not on a summary basis in a heavily contested case.”

In her own statement issued after the ruling, the duchess urged people to be “brave enough to reshape a tabloid industry that… profits from the lies and pain that they create”.

Associated Newspapers will also pay a confidential sum for copyright infringement, while the Mail on Sunday also faces having to cover a substantial part of Meghan’s legal costs, which could be more than £1m.

Media lawyer Mark Stephens told the Guardian the nominal £1 settlement suggested a weakness in the privacy aspect of the duchess’s case.

“Normally for that kind of invasion of privacy you would expect £75,000 to £125,000,” he said. “It does show that the curation of her reputation was an area where she had effectively invaded her own privacy.”

However, libel lawyer David Hooper told The Daily Beast: “Accepting the £1 will likely have avoided a tremendous argument about the extent of the damage she suffered.

“She just wanted to establish a principle and get her legal costs paid, although she may well still be a half a million pounds out of pocket as a result of this process.”

    Source:
  • BBC NEWS