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Meghan Markle Loses First Round Of Lawsuit Against British Tabloid Newspapers

Harry & Meghan are the "big losers" in the royal family during the lockdown.
May 1, 2020 - 18:14 / Lucas Anderson

Meghan Markle's High Court case against The Mail on Sunday continued on Friday, May 1. The results of the first round in court were a setback for the Duchess. Get the details below.

Meghan Markle launched her lawsuit against The Mail on Sunday and Associated Newspapers in High Court last month. She's suing the papers for the publication of a private letter she wrote to her father, Thomas Markle.

Her case accuses the publications of copyright infringement, misuse of private information, and violating the U.K.'s data protection law. Five articles - two in The Mail on Sunday and three in MailOnline - are the focus of the case.  

On May 1, the Duchess suffered a setback in the lawsuit.

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Meghan Markle's lawsuit against The Mail on Sunday takes a hit

On May 1, the case's judge, Mr. Justice Warby, struck out portions of Meghan's case. 

"Some of the allegations are struck out as irrelevant to the purpose for which they are pleaded," the judge's statement began.

"Some are struck out on the further or alternative ground that they are inadequately detailed. I have also acted so as to confine the case to what is reasonably necessary and proportionate for the purpose of doing justice between these parties."

According to The Guardian, the sections of the lawsuit that were stricken were the claim that the paper had acted "dishonestly" and purposely "stirred up" false elements of Meghan's relationship with her father as part of a broader "agenda" against the Duchess.

But the judge added, "I do not consider that the allegations struck out on that basis go to the 'heart' of the case, which at its core concerns the publication of five articles disclosing the words of, and information drawn from, the letter written by the claimant to her father in August 2018."

Duchess Meghan, photographed in 2018.

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Duchess Meghan's High Court case will continue

Meghan's lawyers say the case will still proceed despite this development, which they are positioning as a minor setback.

Hello! reported the full statement from her representatives: "Today’s ruling makes very clear that the core elements of this case do not change and will continue to move forward. The Duchess’ rights were violated; the legal boundaries around privacy were crossed. As part of this process, the extremes to which The Mail on Sunday used distortive, manipulative, and dishonest tactics to target the Duchess of Sussex have been put on full display.

"Whilst the Judge recognizes that there is a claim for breach of privacy and copyright, we are surprised to see that his ruling suggests that dishonest behaviour is not relevant. We feel honesty and integrity are at the core of what matters; or as it relates to the Mail on Sunday and Associated Newspapers, their lack thereof.

"Nonetheless, we respect the Judge’s decision as the strong case against Associated will continue to focus on the issue of a private, intimate and hand-written letter from a daughter to her father that was published by The Mail on Sunday. This gross violation of any person’s right to privacy is obvious and unlawful, and The Mail on Sunday should be held to account for their actions."