(LONDON) — Meghan, the duchess of Sussex, won her final copyright claim in her lawsuit against a U.K. tabloid publisher over the publication of her handwritten letter to her estranged father.
Associated Newspapers Limited, the publisher of the Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday, had argued in court that it believed Prince Harry and Meghan’s former communications secretary, Jason Knauf, was a co-author of the letter, which Associated Newspapers argued meant the letter belonged to the Crown.
But on Wednesday, Knauf, through his lawyers, denied co-writing the letter, according to the BBC.
High Court Justice Mark Warby ruled in February that the Mail on Sunday invaded Meghan’s privacy by publishing large parts of the personal letter she sent to her estranged father Thomas Markle before her 2018 wedding to Prince Harry.
Meghan’s 2018 handwritten letter to her father, which addressed the breakdown in their relationship, was reproduced by Associated Newspapers in five articles in February 2019.
Meghan sued Associated Newspapers for alleged copyright infringement, misuse of private information and breach of the Data Protection Act.
Meghan, who now lives in California with Harry and their son Archie, said after the court’s ruling in February that she hopes her case “creates legal precedent.”
“After two long years of pursuing litigation, I am grateful to the courts for holding Associated Newspapers and The Mail on Sunday to account for their illegal and dehumanizing practices. These tactics (and those of their sister publications MailOnline and the Daily Mail) are not new; in fact, they’ve been going on for far too long without consequence. For these outlets, it’s a game. For me and so many others, it’s real life, real relationships, and very real sadness. The damage they have done and continue to do runs deep,” Meghan said in her statement. “The world needs reliable, fact-checked, high-quality news. What The Mail on Sunday and its partner publications do is the opposite.”
“We all lose when misinformation sells more than truth, when moral exploitation sells more than decency, and when companies create their business model to profit from people’s pain,” she said. “But for today, with this comprehensive win on both privacy and copyright, we have all won. We now know, and hope it creates legal precedent, that you cannot take somebody’s privacy and exploit it in a privacy case, as the defendant has blatantly done over the past two years.”
“I share this victory with each of you—because we all deserve justice and truth, and we all deserve better,” Meghan concluded her statement. “I particularly want to thank my husband, mom, and legal team, and especially Jenny Afia for her unrelenting support throughout this process.”
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