The Duchess of Sussex has lost the latest ruling in her High Court lawsuit against the Mail on Sunday over its publication of a personal letter sent to her father.
Meghan Markle is suing Mail on Sunday publisher Associated Newspapers (ANL) over claims the handwritten letter was a breach of the Data Protection Act and misuse of private information.
In the latest saga of the pre-trial showdown, ANL requested to amend its defence to argue that the duchess “co-operated with the authors of the recently published book Finding Freedom to put out their version of certain events”.
Finding Freedom, an unauthorised biography of Meghan and husband Prince Harry released last month, contains previously undivulged information about the royal couple.
Antony White QC, representing ANL, said the book gave “every appearance of having been written with their [Meghan and Harry’s] extensive co-operation”.
Meghan’s lawyers have denied the duo “collaborated” with the book’s authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, and said references to the letter to Meghan’s father were extracts lifted from articles in the Mail on Sunday and Mail Online.
Last week, Justin Rushbrooke QC, representing the duchess, said: “The claimant and her husband did not collaborate with the authors on the book, nor were they interviewed for it, nor did they provide photographs to the authors for the book.”
The latest ruling, which means ANL can now use Finding Freedom in its defence case, is the third in a series of legal battles between the former princess and the Mail on Sunday.
Meghan is suing ANL over five articles published in the Mail on Sunday and Mail Online in February last year, which included parts of the letter she had sent to her father, Thomas Markle, following her high-profile wedding to Prince Harry in May 2018.
The duchess swung to victory in the previous battle last month, when she won the right to protect the identity of five close friends who disclosed information about the letter.
The provisional trial date has been set for January 2021.