Meghan Markle to pay £67,000 after losing first round of legal battle against Mail

Duchess of Sussex is suing the newspaper’s publisher for printing parts of private letter to her father

Meghan Markle
(Image credit: Ben Birchall/AFP via Getty Images)

Meghan Markle has agreed to pay £67,000 in legal costs after losing the first round of her court battle against the Mail on Sunday’s publisher.

The Duchess of Sussex is suing Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL) over a 2019 article that included parts of a handwritten letter that she sent to her estranged father, Thomas Markle.

But the High Court has “struck out parts of Meghan’s claim, including allegations of ‘deliberately stirring up’ issues between her and her father”, the Daily Mail reports.

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A written submission to the London court dated 22 July has “since shown that the Duchess has agreed to pay in full the publisher’s costs for the strike-out hearing of £67,888”, the newspaper adds.

As the legal battle enters the next phase, Markle is also fighting to keep secret the identities of friends named in legal documents. “The Duchess ‘freely’ and ‘without being compelled’ disclosed the identities of five friends whose privacy she now fears will be breached,” The Telegraph reports.

But she “has warned that being forced to identify the friends ‘is an unacceptable price to pay’ in pursuit of her legal claim”, the paper says.

At one stage in court proceedings yesterday, a lawyer representing Markle accidentally let slip the surname of one of the friends, but the judge immediately banned media from reporting the name.

In a statement, the Duchess claimed that ANL is “threatening to publish the names of five women… who made a choice on their own to speak anonymously with a US media outlet more than a year ago, to defend me from the bullying behavior of Britain’s tabloid media”, Cosmopolitan reports.

“These five women are not on trial, and nor am I,” she added, before accusing the publisher of “attempting to evade accountability, to create a circus and distract from the point of this case”.

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Joe Evans is the world news editor at He joined the team in 2019 and held roles including deputy news editor and acting news editor before moving into his current position in early 2021. He is a regular panellist on The Week Unwrapped podcast, discussing politics and foreign affairs. 

Before joining The Week, he worked as a freelance journalist covering the UK and Ireland for German newspapers and magazines. A series of features on Brexit and the Irish border got him nominated for the Hostwriter Prize in 2019. Prior to settling down in London, he lived and worked in Cambodia, where he ran communications for a non-governmental organisation and worked as a journalist covering Southeast Asia. He has a master’s degree in journalism from City, University of London, and before that studied English Literature at the University of Manchester.