Meghan Markle Scores Legal Win in Battle to Protect Her Friends

A judge has ruled in favor of Meghan Markle in her battle to protect the identities of her friends. Scroll on for more legal details.

By Jess Cohen Aug 05, 2020 11:57 AMTags
Watch: Prince Harry & Meghan Markle's 2-Year Anniversary: Their Royal Romance

Meghan Markle has won her bid to protect the identities of her friends amid her ongoing legal battle.

On Wednesday, Aug. 5, Mr. Justice Warby ruled in favor of the Duchess of Sussex, who has been fighting to block the public naming of five women who anonymously participated in a 2019 interview with People magazine. "The Duchess felt it was necessary to take this step to try and protect her friends—as any of us would—and we're glad this was clear," Meghan's team said following the verdict. "We are happy that the Judge has agreed to protect these five individuals."

Per The Telegraph, Justice Warby said in his ruling, "I have concluded that for the time being at least the Court should grant the claimant the orders she seeks, the effect of which will be to confer protection on the sources' identities. That is confidential information, the protection of which at this stage is necessary in the interests of the administration of justice. This is an interim decision." 

This ruling comes one month after Meghan, who is in the middle of a lawsuit against The Mail on Sunday and its parent company, Associated Newspapers, filed an application to stop Associated Newspapers from publicly identifying the names of those five friends.

All of Meghan Markle's Final Royal Outfits

At the time, a source close to Meghan said the names of her friends had already been confidentially provided to a judge, as well as to the Mail on Sunday, for its defense in their legal case. But, in a witness statement obtained by E! News, Meghan claimed that Associated Newspapers was "threatening to publish the names" of the five women.

Tim Rooke for Shutterstock

Meghan, who filed a lawsuit over Mail on Sunday's publishing of a private letter she sent to her father Thomas Markle, went on to note, "These five women are not on trial, and nor am I. The publisher of the Mail on Sunday is the one on trial. It is this publisher that acted unlawfully and is attempting to evade accountability; to create a circus and distract from the point of this case—that the Mail on Sunday unlawfully published my private letter."

Tim Rooke/Shutterstock

The Duchess of Sussex and her representatives have maintained that she was "unaware" of her friends' actions to participate in the magazine article and that Meghan was "not involved" in any way.