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The Duchess of Sussex is suing published Associated Newspapers (ANL) after two of its newspapers — the Mail on Sunday and MailOnline — published extracts of a handwritten letter Meghan wrote to her father, Thomas Markle. The letter itself was sent after she tied the knot with Prince Harry in 2018. In her case, Meghan has claimed that by publishing the letter, ANL breached her privacy and copyright.
Yet, the publisher has struck back and said Meghan violated her own privacy when she permitted five of her close friends to speak to People Magazine in February 2019, where they first made knowledge of the letter public.
The Duchess of Sussex launched her lawsuit last October, and it is expected to go to a 10-day trial in January.
While this has been ongoing, Meghan and her husband Prince Harry have campaigned against bullying and online disinformation.
Only this week, Meghan joined Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Next Gen Virtual Summit and said she believes social media has the “same capacity” for causing addiction as drugs.
She explained: “There is something algorithmically that is in there that is creating this obsession that I think is very unhealthy for a lot of people.
“I have a lot of concerns for people that have become obsessed with it and it is so much a part of our daily culture for so many that it is an addiction.”
These comments came days after she spoke to the podcast Teenager Therapy and said she was told in 2019, “I was the most trolled person in the entire world, male or female”.
She added that the bullying felt “almost unsurvivable”.
Independent media disputes lawyer Emily Cox, who is not associated with Meghan’s case against ANL, claimed that her lawsuit helps back up her anti-bullying stance.
She told Express.co.uk: “She might be able to make something of this, in terms of online harassment and press harassment.
“She will hold herself up as a poster child, battling against that.
“I know her and Harry are talking a lot about online negativity and other buzzwords.
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“It’s possible her brand could be enhanced in that way — but, I think ultimately, the dissection of private life [during the lawsuit] is going to be more of a negative than she would have realised at the outset.”
Ms Cox is a partner of Stewarts law firm which claims to be the UK’s leading litigation-only firm — it specialises in high-value and complex disputes.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have spoken out against the public scrutiny they have faced on several occasions.
It was confirmed that Meghan was suing ANL back in October, just before Harry issued a statement which said he had been “a silent witness to her private suffering for too long”.
Then in February, Harry addressed the couple’s decision to step back from the royal frontline when he said they had “no other option”, and alluded to “powerful forces” which had pushed the Sussexes to leave the Firm.
During ABC’s Time 100 special last month, Harry also encouraged the US in particular to “reject hate speech, misinformation and online negativity”, as “what we engage with online has a real effect on all of us”.
Meghan is set to appear in court in January, and sources recently told Vanity Fair that there will be “no wavering” in the run-up to the 10-day trial.
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