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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Meghan Markle Demands £1.5 Million In Costs And A Front-Page Apology From Associated Newspapers After Privacy Case Win

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By Becca Longmire.

Meghan Markle is asking for a front-page apology and a down payment of £450,000 to cover her legal costs of around £1.5 million total (around $2.6 million CAD) amid her case against Associated Newspapers Ltd. (ANL).

According to the Guardian, a remote hearing Tuesday also saw a high court judge order the Mail on Sunday to hand over any copies they’d obtained of a private, handwritten letter she’d sent her father Thomas Markle.

The outlet previously published the letter, with the “Suits” alum arguing that it was an invasion of her privacy and the court eventually agreed. It was revealed that she’d won the high-profile privacy suit last month.

The handwritten note was sent by Meghan to her father in August 2018, after she tied the knot with Prince Harry in May of that year. The five articles in question were published in February 2019.

RELATED: Meghan Markle Celebrates Winning Privacy Case Over ‘Illegal And Dehumanizing Practices’ Of Tabloids

It was reported Tuesday that Ian Mill QC, representing Meghan, had applied for an injunction to “restrain the acts of copyright infringement and misuse of private information,” ITV reported.

In written submissions, Mr. Mill said: “This case is a paradigm example of one in which there is a very real need for an injunction.

“It is required in order to protect the claimant’s rights and stop the continuing acts of infringement.

“The defendant has offered no undertaking, the defendant has failed to deliver up copies it has of the letter such that the threat to infringe and further to misuse her private information remains real and, inexplicably, the defendant has still not removed the infringing articles from Mail Online.

“This is in the face of a judgment which has found, in the clearest possible terms, that the defendant’s acts of publishing those articles infringes the claimant’s rights.

“Accordingly, at the time of writing, the defendant defiantly continues to do the very acts which the court has held are unlawful.”

RELATED: Pregnant Meghan Markle Wears Princess Diana’s Diamond Bracelet During Oprah Winfrey Interview

Mr. Mill also demanded ANL publish a statement about Meghan’s victory on the front pages of the Mail on Sunday and the homepage of the Mail Online “to act as a deterrent to future infringers,” it was reported.

The lawyer said the Duchess of Sussex was willing to “cap her damages” for misuse of private information “at a nominal award,” in order to “avoid the need for time and cost to be incurred in debating these issues,” asking for the company to pay £450,000 within two weeks as “an interim payment on account.”

Antony White QC, representing ANL, said his client planned to appeal the ruling, arguing that it “would have a real prospect of success.”

Mr. White noted Meghan’s withdrawal of her claim for damages, instead seeking nominal damages, was “a radical change of position,” adding: “It is suggested that £1, £2 or £5 would do.”

He said of her request about the letter: “The claimant is not entitled to delivery up of the copy of the letter made by Thomas Markle and given to the defendant unless and until the claimant alleges and proves that the making of that copy by Mr. Markle was such that it is an infringing copy.”

White also said Meghan asking ANL to publish a statement was unnecessary, saying: “The claimant’s success on her application for summary judgment was, as referred to above, afforded very extensive coverage across the national media, including in the defendant’s titles and on a number of newspaper front pages.”

He added it appeared to be “intended more as a species of punishment or retribution, rather than as a necessary and proportionate measure in the interests of the claimant or the public.”

The lawyer also argued that Meghan’s “extremely large costs bill” of around £1.5 million was disproportionate.

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