The Mail will use Finding Freedom in their defense in Duchess Meghan’s lawsuit

Cenotaph Remembrance Parade

On September 21, the lawyers for the Daily Mail dragged the Duchess of Sussex’s lawyers to court for a hearing. The point of the hearing was that the Mail wanted to amend their defense. Meghan is suing the Mail because they published parts of her handwritten letter to her father, then wildly smeared her for those partial excerpts. She owns the copyright to her own letter. It should have been an open-and-shut case. But the Mail is dragging it out so the lawsuit will provide additional content for their negative coverage of the Sussexes.

Anyway, the Mail’s lawyers argued that they should be able to amend their defense because of Finding Freedom, the mostly positive book about the Sussexes featuring lots of insider-y information. The Mail’s lawyers argued that if Meghan provided some information to Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, then the Mail is completely justified in printing Meghan’s letter to her father. Meghan’s lawyers argued that no, she wasn’t interviewed by Scobie and Durand, FF isn’t an authorized biography and Scobie & Durand got some stuff wrong. Well, the judge made a ruling on the situation – the Mail will get to use Finding Freedom as part of their defense.

Meghan, Britain’s Duchess of Sussex, has lost the latest skirmish in her privacy lawsuit against a tabloid newspaper, after London’s High Court ruled on Tuesday the paper could amend its case ahead of a trial next year.

Meghan, wife of Queen Elizabeth’s grandson Prince Harry, is suing publisher Associated Newspapers over articles the Mail on Sunday printed last year that included parts of a handwritten letter she sent to her estranged father, Thomas Markle, in August 2018.

Last week, the paper applied for permission to amend its case, arguing that the couple had cooperated with a biography about them which was published in August, and that showed Meghan had intended some private details to become public, including the contents of the letter.

The judge, Francesca Kaye, said that while she made no view on the strength of the Mail’s case, the amendments could not be said to be “unarguable or utterly fanciful”.

[From Reuters]

I’m starting to believe that the Daily Mail and their lawyers simply want to confuse everybody and throw enough sh-t at the wall that we forget that this case is really f–king simple? The Mail already argued that Meghan authorized the People Magazine cover story in early 2019, where the existence of the letter was revealed. The Mail said that Thomas Markle had no choice but to sell/give the letter to the Mail for publication because of that People story (which is asinine because the letter showed that he had been lying his ass off for months). And now they’re arguing that in retrospect, they were totally right to publish the letter because of Finding Freedom, a book which came out nearly a year and a half after their publication of the letter. And the judge is letting them do it. I can only hope that the Mail is “winning” all of these smaller battles but they’ll lose the war.

Prince Harry and Meghan, Duke and Duchess of Sussex in Bristol

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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54 Responses to “The Mail will use Finding Freedom in their defense in Duchess Meghan’s lawsuit”

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  1. Angel says:

    She should have sued them for libel and defamation since the beginning and not for the copyright of the letter. I really wish for her to win but Im starting to have a bad feeling about this.

    • Sofia says:

      I’m no lawyer but from what I have read, winning a libel case is pretty hard. It’s possible why William himself used “right to a private life” when his lawyers were threatening media companies on published affair rumours.

      This is a pretty open and shut case. Its the Fail lawyers who keep throwing sh*t on the wall to see what sticks – maybe because they know they’ll lose.

      • Angel says:

        These people have been cyberbullying her, writing non sense about her her whole pregnancy, such as liking her love for avocados to terrorism, you are telling me that it’s hard to win a libel lawsuit with press articles like that ? and there is no way she’s the first person to file a libel lawsuit against Daily fail.

      • RoyalBlue says:

        didn’t melania trump win a libel case against them? i seem to remember her winning bigly.

      • Myra says:

        I may be wrong, but I think winning defamation cases is harder in the US than anywhere else. Quite a few people have won defamation cases in the UK, even regular people, I think. However maybe the process isn’t necessarily easy and the compensation might not be worthwhile. The way some media personalities threaten to sue people on twitter over minor criticisms, it couldn’t be that hard.

        Meghan may have chosen this case because of the copyright issue and breach of privacy. She likely did it to draw a line in the sand with the UK media. It would show she doesn’t necessarily care what they have to say about her. Just don’t cross a certain boundary (printing her private correspondences, drone footage of her bedroom, footage of her son in his backyard etc.)

    • Ella says:

      This latest ruling might just mean we get to hear H&M’s version of events leading to their exit in a court of law. All those false articles that were ruled out in the first stage of the case are back in play as they’re in FF. Not sure the RF will thank the MoS for what’s to come after their transparent panic and squirming over what they thought could have been in FF. Will they be able to stop the greedy beast they reared? BP, KP and CH (who seem to desperately want her to drop the case (not going to happen)) have more to lose. Interesting times ahead.

  2. Alexandrajane says:

    Unless they make so much in ad revenue in Meg posts that the longer this can be dragged out the better asthey will have made money overall 🤷‍♀️

    • BayTampaBay says:

      @Alexandrajane – I think you hit five nails directly on the head with one blow.

      Whether, The Fail on Sunday wins or loses the lawsuit, they make money of this lawsuit which is all the Fail on Sunday and its parent company Associated Newspapers cares about.

      • BabsORIG says:

        But how much “real” traffic do they get on these clickbait articles tho? If there’s a dozen bots/trolls making multiple comments that’s not necessarily amount to “making tons of revenue” now it is?

      • Ella says:

        @BayTampaBay – Exactly!

      • NotSoSimpleTaylor says:

        It should be noted that Google in Europe lists them as a 2 star media site. The only place where the mail has a reputation worth more than a grain of salt is the USA, Australia and the UK.

    • ola says:

      ANL is already winning by cashing in on the countless articles. It’s an easy clickbait. MoS has already made more money in ad revenue that they are going to spend on the case. I don’t remember more commented articles than those related to the case. They’re going to drag it out as long as they can.

  3. Nancy says:

    Ugh. I had a feeling the judge would approve but any chance any legal people can give some insight as to why she would do so?

    • mynameispearl says:

      Gathering from what I have read on it it seems to be because there are 2 separate items Meghan is using the MoS for, Breach of Privacy, and Copyright.

      Copyright seemingly will be lost by the MoS.

      MoS seem to think they have a case to defend re privacy. Their defence appear to be arguing she breached her own privacy by collaborating on the book, also they are trying to put her friends on the stand re the People magazine article.

      The shitty thing is that even if they lose this privacy bit they will get so much material out of it.

    • Nic919 says:

      The test to amend a pleading is a pretty low bar. Basically outside of adding a party outside of a limitation period or adding pure gibberish, the court will allow the amendment. It doesn’t mean the court thinks Meghan cooperated with the book, just that it is something they can argue with respect to the privacy aspect of the claim. The copyright part still remains the strongest argument.

      I should note that other royals aren’t going to want the DM to win on the cooperation part and lack of privacy because Charles definitely has participated on books in the past and this exposes him, William and others to less privacy in general. That said, simply getting Omid to give evidence about the no cooperation and this argument will go nowhere for the DM. It will be sworn evidence and a judge will take it seriously.

      • Becks1 says:

        That’s an interesting point – your second paragraph. If cooperating with a biography means you’ve given up any expectation of privacy – it does not bode well for the future for the other royals, since they all have cooperated with biographers at various points.

  4. Sofia says:

    From the statement Meghan’s lawyers released it seemed like the judge did actually tell the Fail that if they have a weak defence, it’ll not hold up.

    And this is not a judgement on whether or not Finding Freedom is actually a good defence – this just means the Mail can use it. They’ve still got to actually come with an actual defence on how it’s relevant.

    • Becks1 says:

      Yeah I don’t think FF is the strong defense the MoS thinks it is – even if Meghan DID fully cooperate with it, she could say that it was as a reaction to the negative press and she talked about the letter in it BECAUSE the MoS had already printed it. The book came out a year and a half after the MoS printed the letter. Its entirely possible and reasonable that Meghan’s view on privacy etc had changed somewhat.

      I think they’re bringing up FF more as a way to drag Omid into it, since the RRs hate Omid.

    • Merricat says:


  5. Julie says:

    The sad fact is that DM wins either way. Even if the court finds against them the coverage has helped sell papers/attract website clicks.
    I do think that Megan knows this and her real message was to her narcissistic family. Notice they all went quiet? The message was to them…that she’s capable of fighting back and next time, it won’t be a tabloid on the dock.

  6. S808 says:

    I’m not sure how they’re going to build a defense off of the book. It came out 2 years after they published the letter, Meghan has gone on record saying she was not involved in it and even if she was, she has every right to talk about the letter, it still doesn’t give them the right publish it without permission.

    • Still_Sarah says:

      Omid Scobie said in an interview that he had been working on the book for two years. So he would have been working on the book when the MOS publishes the story about the letter.

    • ola says:

      That’s what I really don’t understand. The Authors’ Note in my copy of the book clearly states that Scobie and Durand spoke with H&M’s close friends AND with H&M themselves. It’s printed. Why are they denying the involvement in the book? What’s wrong with that? The book was supposed to be THEIR side of the story so it should be obvious that they had some involvement. Why deny it just before the book was published (with the note)? Why keep denying it now? It’s such a mess.

      • Ignoto says:

        The following statement is included in the prologue of the book:

        “As a rule, no member of the British royal family is officially allowed to authorize a biography. However, Carolyn and I were able to gain extensive access to those closest to the couple: friends, trusted aides, senior courtiers, and many individuals in the Sussexes’ inner circle.”

        So, there is no statement in the prologue or the author’s note that “clearly states” that Harry and Meghan participated with the writing of this book. You obviously don’t have a copy of the book. Nice try though.

  7. janey says:

    I don’t know how she sleeps at night, or has slept since all this started. I can’t imagine the stress she has been through but she stays resolute AND continues to do good, letting her work speak for itself. massive respect.

    • BnLurkN4eva says:

      I think she meditates and practices Yoga so that probably helps her stay centered which allows her to carry on with her life undisturbed. Also, I have to wonder if she even reads much of the things written/said about her. I know I wouldn’t and they have people who work for them to sort through what’s written to decide what to respond to and what to ignore. In any case, she and Harry looks good whenever they appear in one of their zoom outings, so whatever they are doing to carry on, it’s working.

  8. Marivic says:

    So sad that even the British courts, which is supposed to do justice, to provide for equal protection, and to ensure due process of law, seems to move to see Meghan lose her legal battle against the powerful and vicious British media. She seeks justice for the injustice done to her but, going by the latest ruling by the judge, I don’t think Meghan will find fair justice in Britain. Ever.

  9. Snuffles says:

    They have no defense and they know it. This is just another move to drag out the trial, continue to smear Meghan and make it seem like she is the one on trial. They want to generate more BS stories and get more clicks. They are furious they have been cut off and are trying to get their pound of flesh.

    This is also a way to get their digs in at Omid Scobie and try to discredit him. They hate him with the fire of a thousand suns because he didn’t join in on their smear campaign and was fair to Meghan. They are also mad Finding Freedom did so well and probably because he’s one of the few UK reporters who the Sussex’s PR team will even speak to. (I’m hearing that a lot of RRs are getting completely blanked by the Sussex team and can’t even confirm 2nd hand news).

    • Edna says:

      “ I’m hearing that a lot of RRs are getting completely blanked by the Sussex team and can’t even confirm 2nd hand news).”

      As it should be. The RRs aren’t true journalists and have made H&M’s life hell by their hate filled made up propaganda. The Sussexes are no longer working royals so there’s no need for the RRs to report on anything the “irrelevant” Sussexes do or say. The RRs focus should be ion the actual working Royals, you know, the Queen, Charles, Will and Kate.

  10. Izzy says:

    Is it too much to ask that Omid Scobie or Carolyn Durand will have to refute DM allegations about the sources of some of the stories in the book? Because if they were KP or BP, it would be lovely to blow the lid off of that. Seriously, all I want for Christmas is to see this come back to bite the DM in the ass. HARD.

    • Snuffles says:

      This could bite the DM and KP in the ass. Putting Omid and Carolyn on the stand could force them to reveal their sources and more stories they left out of the book for legal reasons.

  11. ABritGuest says:

    Burden is on the Fail to prove as part of their defence that she invaded own privacy with FF. ultimately I think they just want to examine her on details in it so they have more clickbait eg if Harry didn’t say X like FF claims when Archie was born what did he say. Detail from the case just provides more fodder and think that’s what they want

    This case & reports around it has put things on the record eg did try help her father, Fail made up a relative from Compton, made up stuff about their house, about employee relationships& that KP wouldn’t allow her to defend herself.

    Hopefully at the end of this she gets the letter back (think that’s what she was requesting during the pre action stage but sounds like the Fail fobbed her off) and she can draw a line under this. All this because of her father. He’s really cost her a lot

    • RoyalBlue says:

      thank you thomas markel. all this is because of you. was it worth it?

      • BnLurkN4eva says:

        He doesn’t care. He strikes me as someone who has been getting away with hurting Meghan her whole life. I get the feeling that she has tried really, really hard to placate him most of her life in order to foster a relationship. I think too based on some of the statements she’s made about him pre-Harry, that she exaggerates his role in her life, remembering their relationship the way she wished it was rather than the way it actually was. He’s a terrible father and he was terrible to his other children and I think the only difference between his relationship with them and Meghan is that Meghan tried to make a relationship between herself and her father work. You see this a lot with children so desperate for their parents love that forget the bad and focus on the good for as long as possible. You can tell he considered Meghan his retirement plan and maybe if he treated her better than the others, he did so with his retirement in mind. He kept saying in interviews that she promised to take care of him, which she very well may have done and looked to have been doing for years while on Suits. What a terrible, terrible man, both Meghan and Harry have seriously dysfunctional families, his just have some coins.

  12. Mignionette says:

    The MoS is using this process to effectively harass Meghan which could be argued is an abuse of the Courts.

    They don’t really give a sh*t about FF, they just want to forever link it to Meghan and Harry in the eyes of the gammons. They are also just enjoying winding her up. They can’t outspend her but they can effectively drag this out and verify the facts of every paragraph thereby going on a fact finding mission and invalidating Omid in the process. They’ve done a cost benefit analysis and realised they need to make enough money to cover the inevitable legal bills. This is as Machiavellian as it gets and the judge is asleep at the wheel in allowing this. I do however think that this is what Meg’s lawyers want. They want to give the MoS enough rope to hang themselves.

    The above is why celebrities rarely sue, bc you pay with your nerves or your wallet. It’s court sanctioned blackmail.

    I also feel that this has BRF mitts all over it. They are still hoping Harry will come back with his tail between his legs and this will be his out….. i.e. Meghan was the problem ….. she led him down a dark path….

  13. fc says:

    sorry to be harsh, the MoS has already won. they are getting so much “content” out of this that makes it worth dragging this out forever

    • BnLurkN4eva says:

      You are not wrong, nor harsh. The MOS is winning what they want, which is content, but I argue that Meghan is winning too by standing up to the bullies and not backing down. They expected her to drop the lawsuit and she will not and it seems win or lose she will go forward and stand up to them. H/M knew from the start that what they have set out to do wouldn’t be easy, but they also felt they are correct in their course, that’s the win.

  14. aquarius64 says:

    I still think the end game for the Fail is to use Toxic Tom as a human shield to get her to drop the suit. DM I think is targeting excerpts from FF about Bad Dad to smear her as a bad daughter and get more dirt. They know she doesn’t want to sue Daddy, and they are counting on any lingering feelings she may have for him to stop the process. Meghan may have no choice but to take down her father.

  15. EJOB says:

    Non-lawyer here, asking about a stated premise: Does Meghan own the copyright to her letter? I guess I don’t understand what copyright means in the legal sense.

    While she may have had a reasonable expectation of privacy when she sent the letter to her father, does she have a *legal* right to that privacy?

    • BnLurkN4eva says:

      In Britain their law states that the person who writes the letter holds the copyright always. The letter belongs to her father as she sent it to him and he can even sell it to the MOS, but they can’t print it without her permission, which she didn’t give, hence the lawsuit. That part of the lawsuit is actually open and shut, but the mail is muddying the water with other issues to drag it out for content it seems and the judge is allowing them to get away with it.

    • isabelle says:

      We all own the copyright to our own letters.

  16. Aa says:

    It’s a painful process and there is ultimately no possibility of a true win here, but I try to remind myself that the truth coming out and Meghan being able to use her voice has only benefited Meghan just like the letter in question did. Already the lawsuit even in all of the back and forth between lawyers has given Meghan more of a voice than even what Finding Freedom claimed to give her.

  17. Shirley Gail says:

    I hope the “judge” goes on trial next…….

  18. beff says:

    I’m going on the assumption that she will lose the lawsuit as another way of bullying the biracial princess. Hope I’m wrong.

  19. L4frimaire says:

    This news was very distressing but then Schillings issued a very strongly worded statement in response to the ruling that basically called BS on the Mail, said their argument was weak and they’ll see them in court. They reminded everyone that the Mail is the one in trial. Was a good statement. Lawsuits against corporations are messy and vicious. They will do everything to undermine their opponents and smear them, whether it’s prominent well known people like Meghan, or people in malpractice or consumer harm lawsuits , or sexual harassment lawsuits. Discredit the plaintiffs and try to justify their bad actions.

  20. Vanessa says:

    In the daily mail quest to continually to bully and harass Meghan any chance they get is going to be the down fall of the royal family and those courtiers. Because the authors will have to say who they got stories from I can guarantee that a lot of the sources will be from the Cambridge’s side there courtiers behavior will be exposed and a lot people believe that the Middleton’s were also involved in the smearing campaign against Meghan then will be exposed too . Thomas said that the royal family owns him that line makes me believe that Jason the Cambridge’s spoken person gave him clearly go head to make trouble for Meghan and Harry wedding . I believe that the Cambridge’s made a deal with Thomas to used him to destroy Harry and Meghan marriage that’s why Thomas said that royal family owns he probably was promised payment for his actions. If Thomas has to take the stand he will save himself tell everything and it won’t look good for the royal family or the daily mail .

  21. Mariane says:

    The mail has fallen into a trap. They’ll have to release their own sources once Meghan’s team ask. The idiots know that they’ll lose and are just dragging this so they can get information to print. I love Meghan’s lawyers statement saying that it’ll fall like a house of cards. This gives her team a chance to re introduce strucked out parts

    The court release shows thst the judge doesnt believe that the mail have much proof but he allowed them(?)A neutral expert has confirmed that. Nothing has changed and it’s still about copyright claim.

    • ola says:

      The statement about house of cards comes from Master Kaye, High Court Judge, not from Meg’s lawyers. She said “It may be what it does not say rather than what it does say that might prove to be significant at trial. If, as suggested, it’s all a house of cards, it will quickly fall down at trial.”

  22. Ellie says:

    First, I am totally on her side about ALL of this. But holy f-ck, I am just listening to this audiobook now and it is the most kiss ass thing I’ve ever heard. It’s read by Omid Scobie, and he is absolutely drooling with adoration for them to the point where I am embarrassed for him and for myself for choosing this on Audible this month. If they provided information, I have a hard time believing they knew it was going to be the fawning mess that it is. They’re probably embarrassed too, and a little scared of how obsessed he is.

    • BnLurkN4eva says:

      The hate dripping from the other books about them is a worse look. This is the one unauthorized book about them that even close to fair so given that, I can live with this one writer fawning.

    • ola says:

      I admit it’s a cringeworthy read. I hardly went through it. It would benefit from less wordy, less smarmy style.