Meghan Markle was blessed with the ultimate Christmas gift over the weekend. The Duchess of Sussex recently won her privacy infringement case against the Associated Newspapers, the same publishers who produced the UK’s Mail on Sunday.
According to PEOPLE, the publisher finally offered a public front-page apology to the 40-year-old mother of two, “as required” by multiple court rulings, buried in the holiday shuffle.
In February 2019, The Mail on Sunday breached Markle’s privacy by printing a few sensitive experts from a five-page letter she wrote to her father, Thomas Markle, shortly after her wedding to Prince Harry in May 2018.
“The Duchess of Sussex wins her legal case for copyright infringement against Associated Newspapers for articles published in The Mail on Sunday and posted on Mail Online,” the publication’s notice read.
“Following a hearing on 19-20 January 2021, and a further hearing on 5 May 2021, the Court has given judgment for the Duchess of Sussex on her claim for copyright infringement,” the statement continued. “The Court found that Associated Newspapers infringed her copyright by publishing extracts of her handwritten letter to her father in The Mail on Sunday and Mail Online. Financial remedies have been agreed.”
The Associated Newspapers tried to challenge the decision at the Court of Appeal, but Judge Geoffrey Vos dismissed the motion. NPR previously reported the judge found that “the Duchess had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the contents of the letter. Those contents were personal, private and not matters of legitimate public interest.” The publisher said they were “very disappointed” by the ruling and considered bringing an appeal at the U.K. Supreme Court.
Markle is also set to cash in on a handsome financial settlement from the case. Back in March, the judge ruled that the Associated Newspapers should pay “90 percent of Meghan’s estimated $1.88 million legal expenses for the duration of the 18-month long case,” PEOPLE noted.
While the Duchess has yet to comment on the long-overdue apology, she released a statement after the Court of Appeal’s decision thanking her fans for their support throughout the tumultuous lawsuit.
“This is a victory not just for me, but for anyone who has ever felt scared to stand up for what’s right,” she said. “While this win is precedent-setting, what matters most is that we are now collectively brave enough to reshape a tabloid industry that conditions people to be cruel, and profits from the lies and pain that they create.”
She continued to write the lawsuit was more than about her and was “an important measure of right versus wrong.”
“The defendant has treated it as a game with no rules. The longer they dragged it out, the more they could twist facts and manipulate the public (even during the appeal itself), making a straightforward case extraordinarily convoluted in order to generate more headlines and sell more newspapers — a model that rewards chaos above truth. In the nearly three years since this began, I have been patient in the face of deception, intimidation, and calculated attacks.”