Meghan Markle has received a public apology after a protracted court battle with the publishers of the Mail on Sunday.
The publication printed a front-page mea culpa to the Duchess of Sussex, 40, as required by multi-ple rulings that the Mail on Sunday and the MailOnline website breached Markle’s privacy in February 2019 by printing elements of a five-page letter she wrote to her father shortly after her royal wedding to Prince Harry in May 2018.
“The Duchess of Sussex wins her legal case for copyright infringement against Associated Newspa-pers for articles published in The Mail on Sunday and posted on Mail Online,” Sunday’s front page notice reads.
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“Following a hearing on 19-20 January, 2021, and a further hearing on 5 May, 2021, the Court has given judgment for the Duchess of Sussex on her claim for copyright infringement. The Court found that Associated Newspapers infringed her copyright by publishing extracts of her handwritten letter to her father in The Mail on Sunday and on Mail Online. Financial remedies have been agreed,” the remainder of the public apology reads on page 3.
On February 11, Judge Mark Warby of the High Court in London ordered The Mail on Sunday to couple the apology with a longer “notice” inside the newspaper under the headline, “The Duchess of Sussex,” which explicitly states that the court found “Associated Newspapers infringed her [Meghan’s] copyright by publishing extracts of her handwritten letter to her father in The Mail on Sunday and in Mail Online.”
He also ordered that the apology appear on the homepage of MailOnline “for a period of one week” and include a hyperlink to the official judgment and summary under the wording, “The full judgment and the Court’s summary of it can be found here.”
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Despite a legal challenge from the publisher, Judge Warby’s decision in the privacy and copyright infringement case was upheld on December 2 by the Court of Appeal in London.
The Duke And Duchess Of Sussex Visit One World Observatory The Duke And Duchess Of Sussex Visit One World Observatory Roy Rochlin/Getty Images Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
In addition to the public apology printed on the front page of the Mail on Sunday and the homepage of the Mail Online, the Duchess can also expect to receive substantial financial damages from the newspaper group. In March, it was ruled that the publisher of the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday should pay 90% of Meghan’s estimated $1.88 mil-lion legal expenses for pursuing the 18-month-long case.
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In a statement on December 2, Meghan said, “This is a victory not just for me, but for anyone who has ever felt scared to stand up for what’s right.”
She noted, “While this win is precedent setting, what matters most is that we are now collectively brave enough to reshape a tabloid industry that con-ditions people to be cruel, and profits from the lies and pain that they create.”
Meghan continued, “From day one, I have treated this lawsuit as an important measure of right versus wrong. The defendant has treated it as a game with no rules. The longer they dragged it out, the more they could twist facts and manipulate the public (even during the appeal itself), making a straightforward case extraordinarily convoluted in order to generate more headlines and sell more newspapers — a model that rewards chaos above truth. In the nearly three years since this began, I have been patient in the face of deception, intimida-tion, and calculated attacks.”—Agencies