A week into Meghan Markle's privacy lawsuit, a judge has issued a ruling in favor of Associated Newspapers.
As the Duchess of Sussex's lawsuit against Associated Newspapers, the publisher of Mail on Sunday, gets underway over their publishing of a private letter to her father, Justice Warby ruled to strike out several claims in response to a pre-trial application from the defendant.
According to a summary released on May 1, Associated Newspapers targeted three elements of Markle's case to be struck out: "allegations that (1) the defendant acted dishonestly, and in bad faith; (2) the defendant deliberately dug up or stirred up conflict between the claimant and her father; and (3) the claimant was distressed by the defendant's 'obvious agenda of publishing intrusive or offensive stories about [her] intended to portray her in a false and damaging light.' The grounds of attack on each aspect of the case are that the allegations are irrelevant in law, or inadequately particularized, or that it would be disproportionate to litigate the issues raised so that they should be excluded from the scope of the case on case management grounds."
Per the summary, the court agreed that the three categories should be struck out. However, it was noted that, despite the ruling, Markle can come back with an application for permission to make amendments to the complaint.
In response to the ruling, a spokesperson for Schillings, who are representing Markle, said in a statement, "Today's ruling makes very clear that the core elements of this case do not change and will continue to move forward. The Duchess' rights were violated; the legal boundaries around privacy were crossed. As part of this process, the extremes to which The Mail on Sunday used distortive, manipulative, and dishonest tactics to target The Duchess of Sussex have been put on full display."
The statement continued, "Whilst the Judge recognizes that there is a claim for breach of privacy and copyright, we are surprised to see that his ruling suggests that dishonest behavior is not relevant. We feel honesty and integrity are at the core of what matters; or as it relates to the Mail on Sunday and Associated Newspapers, their lack thereof. Nonetheless, we respect the Judge's decision as the strong case against Associated will continue to focus on the issue of a private, intimate and hand-written letter from a daughter to her father that was published by The Mail on Sunday. This gross violation of any person's right to privacy is obvious and unlawful, and The Mail on Sunday should be held to account for their actions."