Mail On Sunday will pay Meghan Markle just £1 in damages for privacy breach after losing court battle over letter to her father

  • Meghan Markle sued Associated Newspapers Limited over five articles  in 2018
  • She stated that MoS copied parts of Thomas Markle’s “personal and private” letter. 
  • Meghan was successful in winning her case when a judge decided her favor without allowing her to go through a full trial. 
  • ANL appealed against the decision. The challenge was rejected last month
  • ANL will also pay an unspecified amount to her for copyright infringement 

The Mail On Sunday will pay the Duchess of Sussex just £1 in damages for invading her privacy after losing its appeal in a row over a letter sent to her estranged father, a court document reveals.

Meghan Markle filed a lawsuit against Associated Newspapers Limited (“ANL”) over five articles that reproduced parts from a personal and private” letter sent to Thomas Markle on August 2018.

Last year, the 40-year old Duchess of Cambridge won her case. A High Court judge decided in her favor without any full trial. However, ANL appealed against this decision.

ANL then argued that Meghan’s claim against the publisher should be tried in court. However, the Court of Appeal judge dismissed the challenge.

After considering the case, ANL (also the publisher of Mail Online) will not appeal to the Supreme Court.

In addition, the publisher will be compensated confidentially for violating her copyright by publishing portions of the letter to Mr Markle (77 years old). ANL will also cover a large portion of Meghan’s legal expenses, which may reach seven figures.

Meghan sued Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL) over five articles which reproduced parts of a 'personal and private' letter to her father Thomas Markle (pictured together) in 2018

Meghan sued Associated Newspapers Limited for five articles, which reproduced part of a personal and private’ letter that she wrote to Thomas Markle in 2018. 

At a three-day hearing in November, ANL pushed for the case to go to a trial on Meghan’s claims against it – including breach of privacy and copyright.

According to lawyers for the publisher, new evidence by Jason Knauf (ex-communications secretary to Duke and Duchess) suggested that Meghan had written the letter in the knowledge that it could leak.

ANL's lawyers had argued that new evidence from former communications secretary Jason Knauf suggested Meghan wrote the letter with the understanding it could be leaked

ANL lawyers argued that the new evidence provided by Jason Knauf, former communications secretary, suggested Meghan had written the letter in the knowledge it might be leaked.

Court of Appeal judges rejected the challenge.

The Mail published a Sunday statement on Sunday, Boxing Day acknowledging Meghan’s copyright victory against ANL.

A statement along the bottom of the front page said: ‘The Duchess of Sussex wins her legal case for copyright infringement against Associated Newspapers for articles published in The Mail on Sunday and posted on Mail Online – SEE PAGE 3’

The Court also states on page 3 that it has ruled in favor of the Duchess for her copyright claim.

“The Court found that Associated Newspapers had violated her copyright in publishing excerpts from her handwritten letters to her father in The Mail Online on Sunday. Financial remedies have been agreed.

MailOnline published an identical notice.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex leave Westminster Abbey in London on March 9, 2020

The Duchess and Duke of Sussex depart Westminster Abbey in London, March 9th 2020

The publisher was required to publish a statement in the Mail On Sunday’s front page and a notice at page three stating that it had ‘infringed’ her copyright by publishing portions of the letter addressed to Mr Markle.

Lord Justice Warby later decided that the statement could not be published in the same location and font as the front-page complaint trailer.

The front-page announcement about Meghan winning her copyright claim was retracted to give ANL the opportunity to appeal.

After the decision, Meghan stated that it was a victory for her and anyone else who felt afraid to speak up for justice.