Meghan Markle’s latest court hearing ahead of Oprah Winfrey interview

The Duchess of Sussex won a bid to avoid a trial for her privacy claim

The latest hearing in the Duchess of Sussex‘s legal action against The Mail On Sunday is being heard at the High Court on Tuesday, following her “comprehensive win” in her privacy case last month.

Meghan, 39, sued ANL, publishers of MailOnline and Mail On Sunday, for breach of copyright, infringement of her privacy, and breaches of the Data Protection Act over articles that showed parts of a letter she had written to her father, 76-year-old Thomas Markle, in August 2018.

In a ruling in February, Mr Justice Warby granted Meghan summary judgment in relation to her privacy claim, meaning she won that claim without having to go to trial.

In relation to Meghan’s copyright claim, Mr Justice Warby found that the publication of the letter did infringe her copyright.

At a remote hearing on Tuesday, the judge – now Lord Justice Warby, following his recent promotion to the Court of Appeal – will hear further arguments in “the next steps” in the legal action.

The hearing is expected to deal with applications for ANL to pay Meghan’s legal costs of bringing the case as well as the remaining parts of her claim, including unresolved issues relating to copyright.

 

At last month’s hearing, the judge said: “The claimant had a reasonable expectation that the contents of the letter would remain private. The Mail articles interfered with that reasonable expectation.”

He said that “the only tenable justification for any such interference was to correct some inaccuracies about the letter”, contained in an article in People magazine which featured an interview with five friends of Meghan.

But Mr Justice Warby added: “The inescapable conclusion is that, save to the very limited extent I have identified, the disclosures made were not a necessary or proportionate means of serving that purpose.

 

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who are expecting their second child, are now living in Santa Barbara following their decision to step back from royal duties in March 2020.

The latest hearing comes ahead of Prince Harry and Meghan’s primetime interview with Oprah Winfrey, which will air on Sunday 7 March.

CBS released preview clips on Monday which showed Oprah questioning Meghan whether she was “silent or silenced”, and later asked the Duchess: “Almost unsurvivable. Sounds like there was a breaking point?”

The video then cut to Harry, who remarked: “My biggest fear was history repeating itself.”