In Brief

Meghan Markle to pay £67,000 after losing first round of legal battle against Mail

Duchess of Sussex is suing the newspaper’s publisher for printing parts of private letter to her father

Meghan Markle has agreed to pay £67,000 in legal costs after losing the first round of her court battle against the Mail on Sunday’s publisher.

The Duchess of Sussex is suing Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL) over a 2019 article that included parts of a handwritten letter that she sent to her estranged father, Thomas Markle.

But the High Court has “struck out parts of Meghan’s claim, including allegations of ‘deliberately stirring up’ issues between her and her father”, the Daily Mail reports.

A written submission to the London court dated 22 July has “since shown that the Duchess has agreed to pay in full the publisher’s costs for the strike-out hearing of £67,888”, the newspaper adds.

As the legal battle enters the next phase, Markle is also fighting to keep secret the identities of friends named in legal documents. “The Duchess ‘freely’ and ‘without being compelled’ disclosed the identities of five friends whose privacy she now fears will be breached,” The Telegraph reports. 

But she “has warned that being forced to identify the friends ‘is an unacceptable price to pay’ in pursuit of her legal claim”, the paper says.

At one stage in court proceedings yesterday, a lawyer representing Markle accidentally let slip the surname of one of the friends, but the judge immediately banned media from reporting the name.

In a statement, the Duchess claimed that ANL is “threatening to publish the names of five women… who made a choice on their own to speak anonymously with a US media outlet more than a year ago, to defend me from the bullying behavior of Britain’s tabloid media”, Cosmopolitan reports.

“These five women are not on trial, and nor am I,” she added, before accusing the publisher of “attempting to evade accountability, to create a circus and distract from the point of this case”.

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