LONDON (AP) – The Duchess of Sussex to receive nominal payment of 1 pound ($ 1.35) for invasion of privacy as well as undisclosed damages for copyright infringement, under agreement which ends her long-standing dispute with Britain’s Mail on Sunday over the tabloid’s publication of a letter she wrote to her father.
The terms were reported by the Guardian newspaper on Wednesday, 10 days after Associated Newspapers Ltd., publisher of The Mail on Sunday, decided to drop further calls and issued a statement acknowledging the US-born Duchess , formerly known as Meghan Markle, had won her case.
The Mail on Sunday statement, released on December 26, said “financial remedies have been agreed” but did not provide details. Undisclosed damages for copyright infringement will be donated to charity. The tabloid will also pay the legal fees.
The settlement marks the end of a lawsuit filed after the Mail on Sunday published a series of stories in 2019 based on a personal letter Meghan wrote to her ex-father after her marriage to Prince Harry.
“I think they kind of cut their losses,” said Mark Stephens, a London lawyer who was not involved in the case, citing the seven-figure legal fees incurred by both sides. “So I think both sides were probably right to draw a line in the sand andâ¦ close this particular case.”
Meghan, a former actress, sued Associated Newspapers for abuse of private information and copyright infringement.
Lawyers for the newspaper disputed Meghan’s claim, saying she wrote the letter knowing it could be seen by the media. Correspondence between Meghan, 40, and her then communications secretary Jason Knauf showed the Duchess suspected her father of leaking the letter to reporters and wrote it with that in mind.
After a lower court rejected the Mail’s arguments, the newspaper took the case to the Court of Appeal.
In the appeal, Associated Newspapers also argued that Meghan had made private information public by cooperating with Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, authors of “Finding Freedom”, a sympathetic book about her and Harry.
Lawyers for the Duchess had previously denied that she or Harry collaborated with the perpetrators. But Knauf said he gave the writers information and discussed it with Harry and Meghan.
The information provided a dramatic turn in the long-standing affair. In response, Meghan apologized for misleading the court about the extent of her cooperation with Durand and Scobie.
The Duchess said she had no recollection of discussions with Knauf when she testified earlier in the case and that she had “absolutely no will or intention to mislead the accused or the court in error “.
Meghan described her victory in the Court of Appeals in December as “a victory not just for me, but for anyone who has ever been afraid to stand up for what is right”, as she called for “reshaping a tabloid industry “.
Meghan and Harry have come under intense media scrutiny since the early days of their relationship, which linked Britain’s Prince Charles second son to an American television star.
In early 2020, the couple announced they were stepping down from royal duties and moving to North America, citing what they said were the unbearable intrusions and racist attitudes of the British media. They have since moved to California with their two young children.
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