The Mail agreed to a settlement with Duchess Meghan on December 14
As we discussed, the Duchess of Sussex finally got her “apology” from the Mail on Sunday/Daily Mail. It was a long, tortured process which involved the Mail throwing everything they had at her. It involved Jason Knauf turning over selected emails and texts to the Mail’s lawyers, on the behest of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, in an effort to hurt Meghan’s case. It involved the Mail dragging out their appeal after Meghan won the summary judgment back in February of this year. Finally, the Mail lost their appeal at the start of December, and by December 26th, they put their “apology” to Meghan on the front page. It was a terse statement and nothing more. But it was victory for Meg. As it turns out, the Mail also agreed to pay Meghan an “undisclosed sum in settlement.”
The owners of the Mail on Sunday have finally capitulated in the privacy and breach of copyright case brought by the Duchess of Sussex, abandoning any idea of a further appeal and agreeing to pay an undisclosed sum in settlement. Following an order issued by the Court of Appeal which (among other things) required the publication of the front-page admission of defeat that appeared in the newspaper on Sunday, all that remains to be settled is the amount to be paid to the Duchess to reimburse her for her legal costs.
This brings to an end a legal process triggered nearly three years ago when the Mail on Sunday published large extracts from a personal letter she had written to her father. She sued and won in the High Court, prompting the Mail to appeal, and that appeal was dismissed earlier this month.
The newspaper company complained bitterly about its repeated humiliations in the courts and hinted it might appeal yet again to the Supreme Court, but we now know that it has thrown in the towel.
The order issued by the Court of Appeal on 14 December states that the Mail’s owners, Associated Newspapers, will pay the Duchess an undisclosed sum in settlement of her vindicated claim for breach of copyright. It will also pay her nominal damages of £1 for breach of privacy. Associated will also shoulder most of the Duchess’s legal costs in the case, a sum still to be determined but likely to exceed £1.5 million. It was ordered to make a payment on account of £300,000 in addition to a payment already made of £450,000.
While the amount of the damages remains unknown and the costs, coming on top of the Mail’s own legal bills, are very high, the simple truth is that no sum of money will make much of a dent in finances of an organisation ultimately owned by the billionaire Lord Rothermere. The price the Mail pays is in public humiliation, a humiliation completed at the weekend with the forced publication of that front-page statement and a supplementary statement on page 3, both confirming the Duchess’s victory in terms laid down by the courts.
[From Byline Investigates]
Just so we’re clear, on December 2nd, ANI lost their appeal and on that same day, Meghan issued her hilarious “daily fail” statement in which she specifically name-checked Lord Rothermere, owner of the Mail. Twelve days later, Rothermere’s lawyers agreed to a settlement and acknowledged that they would not appeal to the British Supreme Court. Then two weeks after that, the Mail published their terse AF “apology” to Meghan. The Mail has to pay all of Meghan’s legal fees, plus an “undisclosed” amount in damages for the copyright breach. I hope the settlement was for MILLIONS.
Photos courtesy of YouTube, The Ellen Show.
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