The Mail on Sunday must publish a front-page statement about Meghan Markle’s victory in a privacy case against the newspaper, the High Court ruled today.
A judge last month ruled that the tabloid had breached the Duchess of Sussex’s privacy and infringed her copyright by publishing extracts of a letter she sent to her estranged father.
In a fresh ruling today the court said the Mail on Sunday must print a front-page statement saying Markle had won the case and print further notice about the outcome in its inside pages.
Mail Online must also publish notice of the Duchess’ victory for a week.
“In my judgment these are measured incursions into the defendant’s freedom to decide what it publishes and does not publish, that are justified in pursuit of the legitimate aim I have identified, and proportionate to that aim,” judge Mark Warby said.
“They will involve little if any additional expense, and certainly nothing approaching the scale of the expense that has been lavished on this litigation.”
The court last week awarded £450,000 as a provisional payment towards Markle’s legal costs. Overall her legal team is seeking more than £1.5m in damages.
The judge issued a so-called summary judgement in the case, filed against publisher Associated Newspapers, allowing the Duchess to avoid a potentially embarrassing trial.
Steven Heffer, head of media and privacy at law firm Collyer Bristow, said front-page apologies were a “very rare thing”, adding that the ruling was a “hard and costly lesson” for the paper.
The latest ruling comes days ahead of a tell-all interview Markle and Prince Harry have given to US talk show host Oprah Winfrey.
Markle, who alongside her husband has signed lucrative deals with Netflix and Spotify, has said she is now “able to speak for herself” after stepping back from royal duties.