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Duchess of Sussex: Meghan gets £1 damages over Mail On Sunday privacy case after paper disclosed letter to father

The Duchess of Sussex will get £1 compensation from the Mail On Sunday’s publisher for misuse of private information after it printed parts of her letter to her father.

She will also get a “substantial” undisclosed sum for copyright infringement, and judges said Associated Newspapers should pay £300,000 of her legal costs.

The case centred on five articles that reproduced parts of a letter to Thomas Markle in August 2018.

Meghan sued and Associated Newspapers lost the case, and in December the Court of Appeal denied its request to take the case to trial.

The court heard evidence the letter was “written with public consumption in mind as a possibility”, but ultimately upheld the ruling that Meghan had a “reasonable expectation of privacy in the contents of the letter”.

“These contents were personal, private, and not matters of legitimate public interest,” the court said.

“The articles in the Mail on Sunday interfered with the duchess’s reasonable expectation of privacy.”

Details of the costs have emerged after a case order that summarises the Court of Appeal litigation was made public.

The nominal £1 damages are for misuse of private information, and Meghan’s spokesperson said the undisclosed copyright damages were “substantial” and would go to charity.

Nominal damages are a symbolic and usually small sum awarded when legal rights have been violated, but there is no substantial loss or injury.

Meghan’s spokesperson said the fact the duchess won on both copyright and misuse of private information grounds showed the strength of her case.

Associated Newspapers has agreed to pay the damages by 7 January, according to the judges’ order. Judges said the legal fees, on account, should also be paid by the same date.

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