Meghan Markle has scored a victory in her legal battle against a U.K. tabloid.
The Duchess of Sussex sued Associated Newspapers, publisher of the Mail on Sunday and MailOnline, over a series of articles that included parts of a private letter she wrote to her father, and she won the privacy claim on Thursday, NBC News reports. Judge Mark Warby ruled that the articles interfered with Meghan's "reasonable expectation that the contents of the letter would remain private" in a summary judgement before the case could go to a full trial, according to CNN.
When the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced they would take legal action against Associated Newspapers in 2019, Prince Harry alleged the "contents of a private letter were published unlawfully in an intentionally destructive manner to manipulate you, the reader, and further the divisive agenda of the media group in question." Meghan wrote the letter to her father in 2018.
"Taken as a whole the disclosures were manifestly excessive and hence unlawful," the judge wrote Thursday, per NBC. "There is no prospect that a different judgment would be reached after a trial."
In addition to alleging her privacy was violated, Meghan also accused Associated Newspapers of infringement of copyright and breaching the Data Protection Act 2018, but according to NBC, the judge said the copyright issues would have to be settled at a trial. The ruling comes after Prince Harry won "significant" damages in another case against Associated Newspapers over an article claiming he turned his back on the military.
Meghan said Thursday she's "grateful to the courts for holding Associated Newspapers and The Mail on Sunday to account for their illegal and dehumanizing practices," while an Associated Newspapers spokesperson told NBC it's "very surprised" by the ruling and "disappointed at being denied the chance to have all the evidence heard and tested in open court at a full trial."