"For these outlets, it's a game. For me and so many others, it's real life, real relationships, and very real sadness," Markle said in a statement after the ruling.
Despite being an accomplished, sccuessful American actress way before she met Prince Harry, Meghan Markle has faced the brunt of media scrutiny, British tabloids in particular, ever since she married into the royal family. Now, the Duchess of Sussex has won the latest round against the press after winning her High Court privacy claim against a publication called Mail On Sunday for publishing a "personal and private" letter, handwritten by Markle to her father, Thomas Markle.
"Revealed: the letter showing true tragedy of Meghan’s rift with a father she says has 'broken her heart into a million pieces," read the headline of the sensationalized double-page spread that the publication had carried in February, 2019, which featured "Meghan’s shattering letter to her father," as reported by The Guardian.
In September, 2019, Markle sued Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL), the publisher of The Mail On Sunday and MailOnline, with respect to five articles that they carried. Following the legal battle, Markle said "we have all won" against the publication's "illegal and dehumanising practices."
"For these outlets, it's a game. For me and so many others, it's real life, real relationships, and very real sadness," she said in a statement, as quoted by Sky News. "The damage they have done and continue to do runs deep."
The Duchess of Sussex went on to say, "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."
For the five articles that were published, Markle is seeking damages for alleged misuse of private information, copyright infringement, and breach of the Data Protection Act.
When the Duchess of Sussex began taking legal action against the publication in 2019, her husband Prince Harry also released a statement talking about how they were forced to get into the legal battle.
"My wife has become one of the latest victims of a British tabloid press," said Prince Harry in a statement released in October, 2019 about the "relentless propaganda" that they have suffered. "My deepest fear is history repeating itself. I’ve seen what happens when someone I love is commoditised to the point that they are no longer treated or seen as a real person. I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces," he said.
After court proceedings over the "unlawful publication of Markle's letter to her father, a judgement was passed on Thursday, January, 11, 2021, and the judge, Mr Justice Warby said, according to Sky News, "It was, in short, a personal and private letter. 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. These are inherently private and personal matters."
Following the court's judgment in favor of Markle, a statement from Associated Newspapers said, as reported by BBC, "We are very surprised by today's summary judgment and disappointed at being denied the chance to have all the evidence heard and tested in open court at a full trial. We are carefully considering the judgment's contents and will decide in due course whether to lodge an appeal."