Meghan Markle‘s legal case against a British tabloid has officially begun.
On Friday morning, the first court hearing in the case was held online by London’s High Court due to the Coronavirus.
According to NBC News, Meghan and Prince Harry woke up at 4 a.m. at their Los Angeles-area home to remotely join part of the hearing. Meghan’s arguments, however, were set out by her legal counsel who specializes in privacy, confidentiality and defamation cases.
Meghan’s attorney David Sherborne said the court “has to decide whether the public were being deliberately misled” by the Mail on Sunday only publishing parts of the letter, rather than the whole letter.
He went on to argue that the way by which the letter’s contents were published were “dishonest” as the omitted parts of the letter did not fit the publication’s narrative.
For those not up to date, the Duchess of Sussex is suing Associated Newspapers, the publisher of Britain’s Mail on Sunday, for breaching her privacy by printing parts of a letter she wrote to her father around her 2018 wedding.
The paper’s lawyers have argued that given Meghan’s royal status, there was legitimate public interest in her family relationships and that Thomas Markle had the right to put his side of events to the public.
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“The Mail on Sunday stands by the story it published and will be defending this case vigorously,” a spokesperson for The Mail on Sunday previously shared in a statement to E! News. “Specifically, we categorically deny that the Duchess’ letter was edited in any way that changed its meaning.”
According to NBC News, Meghan’s lawyers believe Thomas was “exploited” and “harassed” by the press.
In fact, Meghan’s attorney claims the press “finally manipulated this vulnerable man into giving interviews.” Meghan’s legal team is seeking damages for misuse of private information and breach of her copyright.
Earlier this month, Prince Harry and Meghan announced they will no longer “engage” with four major UK tabloids including the Mail, the Sun, the Express and the Mirror.
The policy is “not about avoiding criticism” or “about shutting down public conversation or censoring accurate reporting.” Instead, “Media have every right to report on and indeed have an opinion on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, good or bad. But it can’t be based on a lie.”
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