The Duchess of Sussex’s lawsuit against the Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday continues this week. The trial is not until January, but there is some kind of hearing this week, which just means that everybody is dragging out what should have been an open-and-shut case. The Mail had no right to publish Meghan’s letter to her father and they had even less of a right to completely misrepresent her letter and heavily edit her words. It’s that simple. The Mail is dragging this out to stick it to Meghan, to continue to abuse her and to continue to “report” on her. At least now she has… another lawyer?
The Duchess of Sussex’s legal case against the Mail on Sunday is due back in court later today, but her original legal council, David Sherborne, will not be present. The Times has confirmed that Mr Sherborne will no longer be representing the Duchess, with his ‘rival’ Justin Rushbrooke, QC, instead fighting her corner. The news comes after Mr Rushbrooke was called in to represent Meghan during the summer, when Mr Sherborne was tied up with another case – that of Johnny Depp vs The Sun.
Indeed, Mr Sherborne is a well-known celebrity lawyer, one who has frequently won privacy and defamation cases against publishers and the paparazzi. He rose to prominence during the Leveson Enquiry, representing the McCanns, the Dowler family, JK Rowling and Hugh Grant.
Mr Sherborne lost the first pre-trial hearing in May, with the Duchess forced to pay £67,888 in legal costs to the Mail on Sunday. Since then, Mr Rushbrooke (who took over from Sherborne during Depp’s trial) has successfully won Meghan’s bid to keep the privacy of her five friends who spoke to People about her relationship with her father intact.
Meghan is suing the Mail on Sunday and Daily Mail for five different articles published in February 2019, which included the publication of extracts of a private letter she sent to her father. She is seeking damages for alleged misuse of private information, copyright infringement and breach of the Data Protection Act.
Honestly, I wouldn’t want Johnny Depp’s lawyer either, but I bet Meghan replaced Sherborne for other reasons besides that. I hope the change in counsel doesn’t affect her case, but I suspect it won’t, and I suspect that the case is mostly just nitpicking at this point. When this goes to trial (January), the Mail’s case is going to fall apart anyway, because they truly have NO CASE. All they have is whining and bitching about how they had a right to publish Meghan’s letter because they think they “own” her.
Richard Palmer says that the legal costs for both sides will end up being around £3 million. Which is insane. Meghan has already had to pay a fraction of that for the Mail’s lawyers, but if and when she wins the case, the Mail will have to pay her legal fees, correct? Well, at least now the royal reporters have another financial thing to complain about it. How dare Meghan hire such expensive lawyers? How dare she sue a British tabloid as they tried to smear her?
The paper has applied to amend its defence to argue Meghan co-operated with the authors of a book, Finding Freedom, to put out their version of a controversy over a letter she sent to her father. But Meghan’s lawyers say the authors just “lifted” the letter extracts from the MoS
— Richard Palmer (@RoyalReporter) September 21, 2020
Photos courtesy of Backgrid, Avalon Red.