When it comes to the UK media and paparazzi, Meghan Markle has plenty of reasons to hold a grudge. From her first moments in the spotlight as Prince Harry’s then-new girlfriend, the media has responded with harsh criticism, intense scrutiny, and little regard for how their prying might affect her. In the weeks leading up to her and Harry’s wedding, their battles reached a new high when a letter Meghan had written to father Thomas Markle pleading with him to stop working with paparazzi was printed in The Mail on Sunday. Nearly three years later, with legal action taken against parent company Associated Newspapers, a judge has finally ruled in Meghan’s favor, contending that publishing the letter violated the Duchess’ reasonable expectation to privacy. In light of that ruling, Meghan has offered her own emotional statement on the extensive damage done to her and her loved ones by these outlets over the years, blasting their tactics as “illegal and dehumanizing.”
In a statement shared with HuffPost, Meghan says the following: “After two long years of pursuing litigation, I am grateful to the courts for holding Associated Newspapers and The Mail on Sunday to account for their illegal and dehumanizing practices.”
— SheKnows (@SheKnows) October 1, 2019
“These tactics (and those of their sister publications MailOnline and the Daily Mail) are not new; in fact, they’ve been going on for far too long without consequence,” she continued. “For these outlets, it’s a game. For me and so many others, it’s real life, real relationships, and very real sadness. The damage they have done and continue to do runs deep.”
Sir Mark Warby, the presiding judge in Meghan’s case against Associated Newspapers, ruled that the 2018 publication of her letter to her father had “interfered” with Meghan’s “reasonable expectation” that her correspondence would remain private.
Per Meghan’s statement, the publishing of that letter is just one example of when “misinformation sells more than truth” (Harry had previously complained further that the letter had been edited to mislead Mail readers), and warned of the perils of “when moral exploitation sells more than decency, and when companies create their business model to profit from people’s pain.”
We’ve seen enough of Meghan’s pain make front-page news to trust she knows of what she speaks, and our hearts break for all the “reasonable expectations” of hers that haven’t been met since she was linked to Harry. Even if her legal action can’t undo the past, it can hopefully warn other outlets off making this mistake again.
Before you go, click here to see celebrities who have spoken out about being estranged from family.