Meghan asks court to keep identities of friends secret in legal action

Brenda Watkins
July 30, 2020

Meghan's legal team is trying to stop five of her friends, who did magazine interviews because they were anxious about her mental health when she was pregnant with Archie and "vulnerable", from being named by the Mail on Sunday. The target of her lawsuit, Associated Newspapers Ltd., argues that the principle of open justice - the public's right to know - means the friends should be identified.

The Duchess of Sussex has asked a court to keep her friends who gave a magazine interview anonymous, in her legal action against the Mail on Sunday.

Markle is suing Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL) over an article published last February which had shared a deeply personal, handwritten letter she sent to her father, Thomas Markle.

Meghan, 38, is seeking damages from the publisher for alleged misuse of private information, copyright infringement and data protection breaches.

"Associated Newspapers, the owner of The Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday, is threatening to publish the names of five women - five private citizens - who made a choice on their own to speak anonymously with a U.S. media outlet more than a year ago, to defend me from the bullying behaviour of Britain's tabloid media".

Meghan's attorney, Justin Rushbrooke, argued that the court had a duty to "protect the identity of confidential journalistic sources".

The women's titles are contained in a private court record, however they've been identified in people just because of E.

If ANL's lawyers succeed in naming Meghan's friends they may be compelled to attend the High Court in London to provide testimony, with Antony White QC saying: "The friends are important potential witnesses on a key issue". "It asserts that specifics of this letter within that guide needs to have come" directly or indirectly" in the duchess. "It is this publisher that acted unlawfully and is attempting to evade accountability; to create a circus and distract from the point of this case - that the Mail on Sunday unlawfully published my private letter".

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"Reporting these matters without referring to names would be a heavy curtailment of the media's and the defendant's entitlement to report this case and the public's right to know about it", he said. Associated Newspapers disputes that the document should be treated as confidential.

"She was advised that wearing such a necklace only served to encourage the photographers to keep pursuing such images - and new headlines", Scobie and Durand write in their book.

"At a witness statement filed in the instance, that the duchess said" these women is still a private citizen, youthful mum, and each includes a fundamental right to privacy".

"American celebrity Meghan Markle, former star of the TV legal drama" Suits", Wednesday Queen Elizabeth II's grandson Harry at a lavish ceremony in Windsor Castle at May 2018.

Increasingly hostile relations between the royal couple and some British newspapers they accused of intrusive, inaccurate and sometimes racist coverage was one of the reasons why Harry and Meghan left Britain for the United States.

On her wedding day, Meghan Markle wore the famed Queen Mary Bandeau tiara.

Judge Warby is expected to rule on the matter before August 8.

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