Meghan Markle issued a request to the High Court for keeping her friends identity safe. She has urged to stop anyone from naming her five friends who talked about her to People magazine. Her friends also talked about the letter Meghan sent her father.
Her friends were represented as A, B, C, D, and E all this time until Meghan revealed their gender in her application. Meghan’s friends were named as sources for a People magazine article. Their identities are still not revealed.
Markle’s lawyers applied to block Associated Newspapers from publishing the names of her friends and the duchess released a statement, urging the court to do so. She claims that they are ‘private citizens‘ and they have children. Meghan says she had no part in the decision to talk to a news media outlet. She also claims they did it to protect her from the bullying behavior of the British media outlets.
Markle continued that the Mail on Sunday is trying to expose her friends for “clickbait and commercial gain,” which she says “poses a threat to their emotional and mental well-being.”
The article is a breach of privacy for the Duchess because it was the first time the letter she had written to her father was revealed. The Mail on Sunday claims that it gave revelation and misleading information of the letter. Because of which her father, Thomas had the right to publish more of the handwritten note in the Mail on Sunday to defend himself. Meghan and her father’s relationship became estranged after her wedding with Prince Harry in May 2018.
However, Meghan claims she had no knowledge about her friends talking to People magazine until they published the article.
Meghan planned on suing a newspaper, Mailonline‘s owner, Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL) over an article in The Mail. She said that they posted an article where they shared parts of the handwritten letter sent to her father. Meghan claims it is a violation of her privacy, however, the newspaper dismissed the claim.
ANL explained that Meghan’s father shared the letter after Meghan’s friends talked about it with People magazine. It defamed him and he shared it saying it was not the tender message they proposed it was. Meghan’s friends can also be called for a possible trial in late 2020 or early 2021.
Recent documents have revealed that Meghan has recognized those five friends who revealed that information. The legal papers only referred to them as A, B, C, D, and E, but she did reveal their real names in a confidential session. The friends have never been named. People magazine previously ascribed to them as ‘Meghan’s inner circle – a longtime friend, a former co-star, a friend from LA, a one-time colleague and a close confidante’.
The friends will be asked if Meghan was aware that they were conversing with the magazine when they are called in at the trial. Meghan refuted these claims in the documents in response to the questions raised by the ANL.
Her lawyers added in the file that Meghan had discussed that she wrote a letter to her father, with one of her friends. It was seven months before the article was printed in People magazine. The new filings clearly stated that Meghan addressed the existence of the letter with the friend and not its contents. Meanwhile, Mr. Markle continued to give interviews maintaining he did not hear from Meghan.
The submission also stated that Meghan had no idea about the interview being given. She only found out about it after the article was published by People. Meghan also stated that she knew about an article being published about her. But she was not aware of the contents or about the publication that was going to print it.
Any court trial is expected to focus on whether Meghan had a rational expectation of privacy in the contents of the letter to her father. Because her friends had already summarized People magazine about its contents. The trial also has to make sure whether distributed parts of the letter were in the public interest. And whether it was allowed under freedom of expression laws.
The lawyers also state that she got the information about the article from Prince Harry. Her friends defended her against the claims made by Mailonline. The lawyers believe that her friends were compelled to this action due to the ‘mandated’ action of the Kensington Palace. Those close to Meghan including Meghan herself are prohibited from giving any comment when accosted by the media.
In a statement, The Mail on Sunday said, “The Mail on Sunday stands by the story it published and will be defending this case vigorously. Specifically, we categorically deny that the Duchess’ letter was edited in any way that changed its meaning.”
This legal case is privately funded by the couple. And the remaining interests will be distributed to an anti-bullying charity.
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