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Meghan Markle loses 1st part of U.K. tabloid lawsuit in London

Meghan Markle attends the Commonwealth Day Service 2020 at Westminster Abbey on March 9, 2020 in London, England.
Meghan Markle attends the Commonwealth Day Service 2020 at Westminster Abbey on March 9, 2020 in London, England. Getty Images

Parts of Meghan Markle‘s claim against a U.K. tabloid were struck out on Friday during the first court fight of the lawsuit.

News of the lawsuit against the Mail on Sunday and its parent company Associated Newspapers was revealed at the tail end of Prince Harry and Markle’s royal tour to Africa in October 2019.

Markle is suing the publication for publishing parts of an August 2018 letter she wrote to estranged father, Thomas Markle, alleging a misuse of private information, infringement of copyright and breach of the 2018 Data Protection Act.

Associated Newspapers denies the allegations, particularly the claim that the letter was presented in a way that changed its meaning.

READ MORE: Meghan Markle lawsuit against Mail on Sunday starts up with preliminary hearing

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As the case reached London‘s High Court on Friday — held virtually, thanks to COVID-19 lockdowns — Justice Warby struck out a number of the claims Markle made against the tabloid, as requested by lawyers for Associated Newspapers.

Allegations dropped by Warby included the claim that the Mail on Sunday deliberately “stirred up” trouble between Markle and her father and that it had an “agenda” and acted “dishonestly” by leaving out certain parts of the letter, Sky News reports.

In his ruling, Warby said the claims were “irrelevant” to Markle’s wider claim of misuse of private information, copyright infringement and breach of the Data Protection Act.

A spokesperson for the couple confirmed to NBC News that Harry and Markle woke up at 4 a.m. to listen in to the ruling from Los Angeles, where they now live with their son, Archie.

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry file lawsuit against U.K. tabloid
Meghan Markle, Prince Harry file lawsuit against U.K. tabloid

The couple officially parted ways with their royal duties on March 31, partly due to the intense media scrutiny thanks to their royal fame. They are no longer working members of the Royal Family.

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Markle’s legal representation is David Sherborne, a prominent lawyer who Harper’s Bazaar says also worked with Princess Diana. He specializes in privacy, confidentiality and defamation cases.

The lawsuit is in regards to five specific articles, two in the Mail on Sunday and three in MailOnline, published in February 2019, according to NBC News.

The main article’s headline read: “Revealed: The letter showing true tragedy of Meghan’s rift with a father she says has ‘broken her heart into a million pieces.'”

READ MORE: Meghan Markle, Prince Harry file lawsuit against U.K. tabloid

In an official statement published to the Sussexes’ website after last year’s tour, Prince Harry wrote of the media scrutiny his wife has been under.

“Unfortunately, my wife has become one of the latest victims of a British tabloid press that wages campaigns against individuals with no thought to the consequences — a ruthless campaign that has escalated over the past year, throughout her pregnancy and while raising our newborn son,” the statement reads.

“Up to now, we have been unable to correct the continual misrepresentations — something that these select media outlets have been aware of and have therefore exploited on a daily and sometimes hourly basis.”

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The new mom has been a target of British tabloids ever since she was officially linked to Prince Harry in 2016. This isn’t the first time the duke has had to release a formal statement regarding her treatment by the media.

London lawyer says Prince Harry, Meghan Markle have ‘credible grounds’ to bring lawsuit against U.K. tabloid
London lawyer says Prince Harry, Meghan Markle have ‘credible grounds’ to bring lawsuit against U.K. tabloid

meaghan.wray@globalnews.ca

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