Meghan, Duchess of Sussex gains payout from Mail on Sunday after final victory in three-year legal fight

The Duchess of Sussex has agreed “financial remedies” with the Mail on Sunday newspaper, bringing to an end a bitter, three-year legal battle.

The Sunday newspaper printed a statement on its front page acknowledging that the Duchess had won her copyright infringement claim after the paper and the Mail Online published extracts of a letter she sent her father.

Meghan, 40, sued Associated Newspapers Limited over five articles that reproduced parts of a “personal and private” handwritten letter she sent to her father, Thomas Markle, 77, in August 2018.

In February, the Duchess won her case after a High Court judge ruled in her favour.

As part of the ruling, the publisher was ordered to print a statement on the front page and a notice on page three stating it had “infringed her copyright”.

But, that demand was put on hold when Associated Newspapers launched an appeal in November, insisting the case, which included a breach of privacy claim, should go to trial.

The publisher’s lawyers argued new evidence from Jason Knauf, former communications secretary to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, suggested Meghan wrote the letter with the understanding it could be leaked.

That challenge was dismissed by Court of Appeal judges in a ruling earlier this month.

Statements printed on front page and page 3

A statement on the Mail on Sunday’s Dec 26 front page read: “The Duchess of Sussex wins her legal case for copyright infringement against Associated Newspapers for articles published in The Mail on Sunday and posted on Mail Online.”

Then, on page three, under the heading “The Duchess of Sussex”, was the statement: “Following a hearing on 19-20 January, 2021, and a further hearing on 5 May, 2021, the court has given judgment for the Duchess of Sussex on her claim for copyright infringement.

“The court found that Associated Newspapers infringed her copyright by publishing extracts of her handwritten letter to her father in The Mail on Sunday and on Mail Online.

“Financial remedies have been agreed.”

The amount paid has not been revealed. It is also not known what the Duchess plans to do with the money. 

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