I’m actually really tired of writing about the Duchess of Sussex’s lawsuit against the Mail. The pre-trial hearings and filings are endless, which is just what the Mail wanted. They wanted to drag this out for as long as possible to create stories and content and, more than that, confusion. The truth is quite simple: the Mail had no right to publish Meghan’s letter to her father. They were wrong. This should have been settled out of court, that’s how cut-and-dry the case is. But the Mail continues to harp on and on about how Meghan’s friends went to People Magazine to defend Meghan. The Mail has threatened to publish the names of those friends, and Meghan sought an injunction (or the British equivalent of an injunction). Which was just tentatively granted, so a smallish victory for Meghan in this neverending lawsuit saga.
The Duchess of Sussex has won the right to keep secret the identity of five friends who spoke to a US celebrity magazine about her relationship with her father. Meghan, 39, had argued that publicly naming her best friends would be an “unacceptable price to pay” in her privacy case against The Mail on Sunday.
Mr Justice Warby said at the High Court that it was an “unusual” application in which a newspaper was seeking to identify confidential media sources. He ruled that the friends should remain anonymous “in the interest in the administration of justice” but the said decision could be reviewed as the case develops. The judge said the anonymity order would enable “shielding the friends from the glare of publicity in the pre-trial stage”.
The court heard there is evidence to suggest that the duchess’s advisers were “energetically briefing the media about these proceedings from the outset”. He said that a copy of Meghan’s witness statement was posted on the Twitter feed of Omid Scobie, co-author of the biography Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of A Modern Family which was serialised in The Times. It was “accompanied by a quotation attributed to ‘a close source’, criticising the Mail for wishing to ‘target five innocent women through the pages of its newspapers and its website’,” the judge said.
Mr Justice Warby said: “Mr Scobie then tweeted the passage from the witness statement that I have quoted above. The inference invited is that he had been provided with a copy by representatives of the claimant. This seems very likely.”
A source close to Meghan welcomed the anonymity ruling, saying: “The duchess felt it was necessary to take this step to try and protect her friends — as any of us would — and we’re glad this was clear. We are happy that the judge has agreed to protect these five individuals.”
It sounds like good news for Meghan BUT it also sounds like yet again, the “establishment” is going to force Meghan to play by a different set of rules. All of this harping on and on about what Meghan is leaking to Omid Scobie or what her friends are telling media outlets… like, every royal and every celebrity does that. The Duchess of Cambridge does that. The Prince of Wales does that. Prince William 100% does that. Angela Kelly does that. And yet Meghan is the one being nitpicked about it. Anyway, again… this is a mess and the Mail wants it to be a mess.
Photos courtesy of WENN, Avalon Red, Backgrid.