The Duchess of Sussex has begun legal action against the Associated Newspapers-owned Kensington-based Mail on Sunday tabloid over the unlawful publication of a private letter the former American actress wrote to her estranged father Thomas Markle in August 2018. The publication is also being sued over the misuse of private information, infringement of copyright and breach of the Data Protection Act 2018.
The Mail on Sunday said in a statement: “The Mail on Sunday stands by the story it published and will be defending this case vigorously. “Specifically, we categorically deny that the Duchess’s letter was edited in any way that changed its meaning.” In an impassioned open letter, Prince Harry expressed his fear of “history repeating itself”, whilst painting disturbing parallels between his wife and the tragic death of his mother Diana, Princess of Wales “commoditised to the point that they are no longer treated or seen as a real person”.
A legal spokesperson from Schillings who are representing The Duchess of Sussex said: “We have initiated legal proceedings against the Mail on Sunday, and its parent company Associated Newspapers, over the intrusive and unlawful publication of a private letter written by the Duchess of Sussex, which is part of a campaign by this media group to publish false and deliberately derogatory stories about her, as well as her husband. Given the refusal of Associated Newspapers to resolve this issue satisfactorily, we have issued proceedings to redress this breach of privacy, infringement of copyright and the aforementioned media agenda”.
The case is being privately funded by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with proceeds from any damages going to an anti-bullying charity according to the spokesperson.