Mark Warby, a High Court judge in London, ruled on Thursday that The Mail on Sunday invaded the Duchess of Sussex's privacy by publishing a private letter she sent to her father, Thomas Markle, in 2018. The judge also ruled that the issue over the ownership of copyright should be examined at a limited trial.
"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," Meghan, 39, said in a statement released on Thursday. "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. 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."
"The world needs reliable, fact-checked, high-quality news. What The Mail on Sunday and its partner publications do is the opposite," her statement continued. "We all lose when misinformation sells more than truth, when moral exploitation sells more than decency, and when companies create their business model to profit from people's pain. But for today, with this comprehensive win on both privacy and copyright, we have all won. We now know, and hope it creates legal precedent, that you cannot take somebody's privacy and exploit it in a privacy case, as the defendant has blatantly done over the past two years."
Meghan concluded her statement by saying that she shares this victory "with each of you -- because we all deserve justice and truth, and we all deserve better."
"I particularly want to thank my husband, mom, and legal team, and especially Jenny Afia for her unrelenting support throughout this process," she added.
As ET previously reported, Meghan filed her lawsuit against the Mail on Sunday over five articles from February 2019 that were published in the Mail on Sunday and on the MailOnline website. These articles included portions of a handwritten letter she wrote to her father after he was a no-show at her royal wedding to Prince Harry in May 2018.
The former Suits star was originally scheduled to go to court on Jan. 11, 2021. Meghan's lawsuit against the Mail on Sunday and Associated Newspapers had been delayed at her request, however, with a High Court judge approving her request back in October.
"The right decision in all the circumstances is to grant the application to adjourn," the judge in the case said at the time. "That means that the trial date of Jan. 11, 2021 will be vacated and the trial will be refixed for a new date in the autumn. I'm confident that we'll be able to find a time in the autumn in October or November in which the trial can be conducted."