- Title: Meghan has â€˜credible grounds' for claim against UK newspaper - legal expert
- Date: 2nd October 2019
- Summary: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (OCTOBER 2, 2019) (REUTERS) HEAD OF REPUTATION PROTECTION AT LAW FIRM MISHCON DE REYA, EMMA WOOLLCOTT, LISTENING TO QUESTION (SOUNDBITE) (English) HEAD OF REPUTATION PROTECTION AT MISHCON DE REYA, EMMA WOOLLCOTT, SAYING: "I haven't seen the papers, but I've read the letter. And to me it's a private letter, it's very intimate and very sensitive and I can't see that there's a clear public interest in its publication. Of course, there are three bases for the claim: intrusion or misuse of private information, but also an intrusion of copyright and breach of data protection. So I think that there's good credible grounds to bring this claim."
- Embargoed: 16th October 2019 19:11
- Keywords: Duke and Duchess of Sussex Prince Harry Meghan Markle Mail on Sunday tabloids royals
- Location: LONDON AND BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND, UK / CARDIFF, WALES, UK / CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA / AGRA, UTTAR PRADESH, INDIA
- City: LONDON AND BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND, UK / CARDIFF, WALES, UK / CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA / AGRA, UTTAR PRADESH, INDIA
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Royals
- Reuters ID: LVA002AZEO37R
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and the wife of Britain's Prince Harry, has started legal proceedings against the Mail on Sunday newspaper over the publication of a private letter that her lawyers said was "unlawful".
In a lengthy, emotional statement, Prince Harry said on Tuesday (October 1) that the couple had taken legal action in response to what he called "bullying" by some sections of the British press.
Head of Reputation Protection at law firm Mishcon de Reya, Emma Woollcott, told Reuters there were "good credible grounds" for the royals to bring the claim.
"These sort of proceedings are rare but this isn't by no means unprecedented," she added, referencing a case Harry's mother Princess Diana brought against the Mirror Group Newspapers in 1993 over photos taken of her when she was in the gym.
Diana became one of the most photographed women on the planet after she married into the British royal family.
She died in a car crash in Paris in 1997 after being followed through the streets by photographers. Her funeral was watched by hundreds of millions of people around the world.
When asked about the claim and the statement issued by Prince Harry, royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams said losing his mother had influenced Harry.
"I think Harry is unquestionably influenced, and we know this because he suffered for so many years over the terrible fate of Princess Diana, he is determined that none of his family will endure what she did. It's important to stress the paparazzi have nothing like the power these days that they had when Princess Diana was alive."
Schillings, the law firm representing Meghan, described the publication of her letter as part of a "campaign by this media group to publish false and deliberately derogatory stories about her, as well as her husband...We have issued proceedings to redress this breach of privacy, infringement of copyright and the aforementioned media agenda."
It did not give details about the letter in question or publication date.
In his statement, Prince Harry said the newspaper had "purposely misled (readers) by strategically omitting select paragraphs, specific sentences, and even singular words."
The Mail on Sunday denied the account, saying: ''The Mail on Sunday stands by the story it published and will be defending this case vigorously. Specifically, we categorically deny that the Duchess's letter was edited in any way that changed its meaning.'
Schillings said the case was being paid for privately by Prince Harry and Markle, who are also known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
The royal couple have been touring southern Africa together with their baby son, Archie. The prince visited the same landmine clearance project in Angola that Diana had been to see just a few months before her death.
The couple made no public reference to a lawsuit during engagements in Johannesburg on Wednesday.
(Production: Ben Makori, Tanya Lezaic, Sarah Mills)
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