You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

U.K. Tabloid Defends Publishing Markle’s Letter to Father as Duchess Resurfaces in Vancouver

A U.K. newspaper being sued by Meghan Markle for publishing a letter to her father has rejected the Duchess of Sussex’s claims, arguing a “huge and legitimate public interest” in the Royal Family and suggesting it may call on Thomas Markle to give evidence in court.

The Mail on Sunday filed a legal defense in the British high court on Tuesday, almost four months after Markle filed a lawsuit against the outlet and parent group Associated Newspapers, with her complaints including misuse of personal data, selective editing of Thomas Markle’s letter, breach of copyright and invasion of privacy.

The outlet has said in response that Markle and other royals “rely on publicity about themselves and their lives to maintain the privileged positions they hold.” It added that she could not “have a reasonable expectation of privacy that the contents of the letter were private and would remain so.”

The paper cited a “huge” public interest in the royals that “extends not merely to their public conduct, but to their personal and family relationships because those are integral to the proper functioning of the monarchy.”

Evidence from Thomas Markle constitutes portions of the paper’s defense, suggesting that he could be called in for court proceedings.

The filing reads: “Thomas Markle had a weighty right to tell his version of what had happened between himself and his daughter including the contents of the letter. She did not suggest that they try to repair their relationship.

In a 44-page filing, The Mail on Sunday defends each of Markle’s claims, noting that her letter was not a protected “original literary work” but rather a recounting of existing facts.

It also points out that the former “Suits” actor has not denied allowing her friends to speak to People magazine for an article, despite saying she did not court publicity for her relationship with her father.

Rebuking Markle’s data infringement claim, The Mail on Sunday says the data was not sensitive and covered topics she had already introduced to the public domain.

It stands by the published extracts, saying they conveyed the tone, content and meaning of the letter accurately.

The outlet’s lengthy defense comes two days after the Queen convened senior royals at Sandringham to discuss Prince Harry and Markle’s decision to step back from full-time duties.

In a rare personal statement released on Monday, the monarch made clear that the family is “entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family.”

She added, “Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family.” 

On Tuesday, Markle – who is not believed to have ultimately joined in via conference call for Monday’s crisis talks between the family – visited a women’s center in downtown Vancouver. It marked her first public appearance since the bombshell announcement last week.

More Biz

  • Tarale Wulff Weinstein trial

    Ex-Waitress Testifies Harvey Weinstein Held Her Down and Raped Her

    A former cocktail waitress wept on the witness stand on Wednesday as she told jurors that Harvey Weinstein pinned her down and raped her in 2005. Tarale Wulff said she thought she was going to an audition. But when she arrived at Weinstein’s office, she was directed to get into a waiting car, which took [...]

  • Pamela Wasserstein CES

    Listen: Pam Wasserstein Brings Her New York State of Mind to Vox Media

    Merging New York Media with Vox Media wasn’t a deal Pam Wasserstein felt she had to make. But she’s glad she did. Now that the New York Media CEO-turned-Vox president is a few months into driving strategy for the combined businesses, Wasserstein is happy to report that her hunch that Vox and New York would [...]

  • John Stankey

    AT&T's John Stankey: TNT, TBS to Boost Unscripted Volume as WarnerMedia Invests in HBO Max

    The march to the launch of HBO Max in May is driving changes across WarnerMedia. John Stankey, AT&T chief operating officer and WarnerMedia chairman, told investors on Wednesday that cable powerhouses TNT and TBS will lean into more unscripted programming as WarnerMedia steers its investment in high-end scripted programming to the nascent subscription streaming platform. [...]

  • Passengers wait to depart for China

    Entertainment Stocks Tumble in Hong Kong as True Cost of Wuhan Virus Emerges

    UPDATED: The Hong Kong stock market tumbled by nearly 3% as it reopened on Wednesday. This was the first opportunity for local equities to be traded since the Chinese New Year holidays and the escalation of the coronavirus outbreak that started in Wuhan, central China. There were steep falls for some of the companies most [...]

  • Ben Smith Buzzfeed

    Ben Smith Stepping Down as BuzzFeed News Editor-in-Chief to Join New York Times

    BuzzFeed News editor-in-chief Ben Smith is leaving the company to join The New York Times as its media columnist, stepping into the role once held by the late David Carr. Smith announced the news today to staff at BuzzFeed minutes before it broke publicly via NBC’s Dylan Byers. His last day will be in March, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content