Published On: Thu, Oct 29th, 2020

Meghan wins bid to delay trial in Mail on Sunday privacy claim | Ents & Arts News

The Duchess of Sussex has won her request to have her trial against the Mail on Sunday delayed until next year.

Meghan Markle, 39, is suing Associated Newspapers Ltd (ANL) over the publication of parts of a handwritten letter to her 76-year-old father Thomas Markle in the Mail on Sunday and MailOnline in August 2018.

She says the use of the letter was a breach of copyright, infringement of her privacy, and breaches the Data Protection Act.

Her legal team had put in an application to postpone the trial in her privacy and copyright case which was due to start on 11 January next year.

Prince Harry whispers to Meghan Markle as they watch a dance performance by Jukebox Collective in the banqueting hall during a visit to Cardiff Castle in 2018
Meghan had suffered a set back in the case in September

Last month, a London court ruled that the Mail On Sunday could amend its case to include details from a recently published biography, Finding Freedom.

The judge Mr Justice Warby told the court that earlier on Thursday morning he had conducted a private hearing from which the press and public were excluded.

He went on to explain at a public hearing over video link that the “primary basis” on which the adjournment was sought was “a confidential ground”.

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Granting the application to adjourn the trial, Mr Justice Warby said: “The right decision in all the circumstances is to grant the application to adjourn.

“That means that the trial date of January 11 2021 will be vacated and the trial will be re-fixed for a new date in the autumn.”

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During the proceedings that are taking place over video link, Mr Justice Warby also refused a further application made by Meghan’s legal team to remove the inclusion of Finding Freedom as part of the defence.

ANL say Meghan and Prince Harry “co-operated with the authors… to put out their version of certain events”.

They say this is further evidence of how Meghan allowed elements of her private life to enter the public domain.

However, Meghan’s lawyers deny the couple “collaborated” with the authors, Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand.

The HarperCollins biography was published in August of this year.

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The duchess’ legal team are appealing for the decision to include the book as part of the defence to be reversed.

Meghan’s minor win is just the latest tussle in the ongoing legal action.

In August, a judge decided to protect the identities of five of Meghan’s friends who gave an anonymous interview to People magazine.

Meghan is suing ANL over five articles in total – two in the Mail on Sunday and three on MailOnline.

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