LOS ANGELES — Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, has lost the latest round of her ongoing legal battle with U.K.’s Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL), publishers of the Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday.
Markle sued the group for breach of privacy and copyright infringement after the Mail on Sunday published excerpts from a 2018 letter Markle sent to her father Thomas Markle Sr. ANL denies her claims.
Last week, ANL had applied to the court to amend its defense and use the recently published book “Finding Freedom,” by U.S.-based journalists Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, alleging that Markle had passed on information to the authors.
Markle’s lawyer, Justin Rushbrooke, argued, “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,” and suggested that the book draws on material published by ANL and other public domain sources.
On Tuesday, Judge Francesca Kaye allowed the ANL defense to use the book and refused Markle permission to appeal against the ruling. Markle’s lawyers have the option of taking Kaye’s decision to the Court of Appeal. Kaye said that Scobie had denied in a statement to the court that there was any co-operation from Markle on the book.
“It may be what it does not say rather than what it does say that might prove to be significant at trial,” Kaye said, referring to Scobie’s statement. “If, as suggested, it’s all a house of cards, it will quickly fall down at trial.”
The case is due to go to trial in January, 2021.
Markle and her husband, Prince Harry, continue to remain in the news. On Monday, the couple’s spokesperson denied a report in U.K. tabloid The Sun that suggested that they would participate in a “fly-on-the-wall” reality show.