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Meghan Markle Vs. ‘Mail on Sunday’ Lawsuit: Everything You Need to Know



2020 was a year of major change for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, not least in part due to their decision to relocate their family and step back from their roles as senior members of the royal family. Playing out in the background of all this was Meghan’s lawsuit against the Mail on Sunday. After the pandemic turned the court proceedings into a virtual affair, Meghan finally won her privacy case against the newspaper in February 2021. The paper went on to lodge an appeal against the decision but, on Dec. 2, 2021, it was rejected.

After a three-year legal battle, the Mail On Sunday accepted defeat and on Dec. 26, published a front-page apology to the duchess, agreeing to pay Markle damages ranging from just £1 to a suspected £1m. Markle had previously said the lawsuit was about principle, rather than money, and counts recent rulings as a “victory”. Now, as the lengthy legal dispute reaches a conclusion, here’s everything you need to know about Meghan’s privacy lawsuit.

What Happened When Meghan Sued The Mail On Sunday?

In October 2020, Meghan Markle filed a lawsuit against the Mail on Sunday for publishing sections of a private letter she sent to her estranged father, Thomas Markle in 2019.

Represented by law firm Schillings, Meghan filed a High Court claim against the newspaper’s publisher, Associated Newspapers, alleging misuse of private information, infringement of copyright, and breach of the Data Protection Act 2018, per the Evening Standard.

After a two year long legal battle, which was slowed by the coronavirus pandemic, Meghan was granted a “summary judgement” in February 2021 which meant she was able to have part of the case resolved without a trial, as NBC reports.

The judge presiding over the case, Mr. Justice Warby ruled that in publishing the letter the Mail on Sunday had been, “manifestly excessive and hence unlawful” and were ordered to pay 90% of the Duchess’ legal costs, beginning with an interim payment of £450,000, per ITV News.

In March 2021, he rejected Associated Newspapers’ request to appeal the judgement, per Belfast Telegraph.

The same month, it was ruled that the Mail on Sunday should publish a statement on their front page regarding Meghan’s victory that in the words of her legal team would “act as a deterrent to future infringers.”

Then in May, Meghan won the remaining part of the copyright claim against the Mail on Sunday after having proved that the letter to her father was all her own original work and that she owned it.

However, in June the High Court allowed Associated Newspapers to appeal Warby’s decision. It did so on the grounds that there was significant public interest in the case, as the publication noted in a statement given to the Times at the time: “We are pleased with the Court of Appeal’s decision to grant us permission to appeal against the summary judgments handed down by the High Court, and its recognition of the exceptional public interest in the issues raised by the case.”

A three-day hearing followed in November, where the Mail On Sunday presented new evidence challenging Markle’s invasion of privacy claims.

What Was The Outcome Of The Mail On Sunday’s Appeal?

During the three-day court hearing, beginning Nov. 9, the lawyer for Associated Newspapers presented new evidence based on a statement from Jason Knauf, former communications secretary to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, suggesting the letter had been “drafted with the understanding that it could be leaked.”

The Mail On Sunday also argued that the duchess had given authors of Harry and Meghan biography Finding Freedom information about the handwritten letter. As the BBC reported at the time, during the appeal it was revealed that the Duchess had instructed Knauf, then her aide, to give background information to the authors.

In the same hearing, Markle apologised for not remembering “exchanges at the time” also stating “I had absolutely no wish or intention to mislead the defendant or the court.”

The hearing ended on Nov. 11 and, on Dec. 2, it was revealed that the court’s original decision has been upheld, marking another victory for Markle and her team. The Court of Appeal rejected the attempt from Associated Newspapers to have a trial granted to take the issue further. The judges — Sir Geoffrey Vos, Dame Victoria Sharp, and Lord Justice Bean— stood by the original decision that stated the publication of a large proportion of Markle’s letter in the Mail On Sunday had been unlawful and a breach of privacy.

Speaking about the decision, Sir Geoffrey, Master of Rolls, explained: “It was hard to see what evidence could have been adduced at trial that would have altered the situation.

“The judge had been in as good a position as any trial judge to look at the article in People magazine, the letter, and the Mail on Sunday articles to decide if publication of the contents of the Letter was appropriate to rebut the allegations made against Mr Markle.”

Shortly after the decision was made, Meghan released a statement, which began:

“This is a victory not just for me, but for anyone who has ever felt scared to stand up for what’s right.”

She later added: “In the nearly three years since this began, I have been patient in the face of deception, intimidation and calculated attacks. Today, the courts ruled in my favour – again – cementing that the Mail on Sunday, owned by Lord Jonathan Rothermere, has broken the law.”

By Dec. 26, the Mail On Sunday published its court-ordered apology on its front page stating “financial remedies have been agreed.”

Why Did Meghan Apologise During The Hearing?

The Mail on Sunday was given permission to rely on Finding Freedom, a biography of Meghan and Harry, in its legal defence back in September 2020. As the Guardian reports, the newspaper argued that Meghan had given its authors Carolyn Durant and Omid Scobie information about the handwritten later.

However, per the publication, at the time Meghan’s lawyers said that accusations that she had “collaborated” with the authors was a “conspiracy theory.” However, as the BBC reports, during the appeal it was revealed that the Duchess had instructed Knauf, then her aide, to give background information to the authors.

As a result, she gave a written statement to the court apologising for making a misleading statement. Per CNN the statement read: “I accept that Mr Knauf did provide some information to the authors for the book and that he did so with my knowledge, for a meeting that he planned for with the authors in his capacity as communications secretary. The extent of the information he shared is unknown to me.”

It continued: “When I approved the passage… I did not have the benefit of seeing these emails and I apologize to the court for the fact that I had not remembered these exchanges at the time. I had absolutely no wish or intention to mislead the defendant or the court.”

What Was Said In The Mail On Sunday’s Apology?

As ordered by Judge Mark Warby of the High Court in London, on Dec. 26, The Mail On Sunday published a public apology on the front page of The Mail On Sunday and the Mail Online ​​under the headline, “The Duchess of Sussex.”

The statement read: “Following a hearing on 19-20 January 2021, and a further hearing on 5 May 2021, the Court has given judgment for The Duchess of Sussex on her claim for copyright infringement.

“The Court found that Associated Newspapers infringed her copyright by publishing extracts of her handwritten letter to her father in The Mail on Sunday and in Mail Online.

Financial remedies have been agreed.”

Per the High Court’s ruling, The Mail On Sunday was required to leave the apology on the website for a full week and include links to the full judgment. However, while The Mail On Sunday obliged, the papers published the apology on Boxing Day, the day after Christmas, commonly known as the quietest day of the year.

How Much Was The Mail On Sunday Ordered To Pay Meghan?

Following Markle’s victory, The Mail On Sunday will pay the Duchess of Sussex just £1 in damages. As the Guardian reported, on Jan. 5, 2022, the nominal fee formally confirms that the newspaper has “accepted defeat” and won’t pursue an appeal to a supreme court.

According to media lawyer, Mark Stevens, via The Guardian, the £1 fee, shows there was a “weakness” in Markle’s privacy case.

“Normally for that kind of invasion of privacy you would expect £75,000 to £125,000. It does show that the curation of her reputation was an area where she had effectively invaded her own privacy,” he stated.

However, The Mail On Sunday has also agreed to pay a “substantial sum” for infringing Meghan’s copyright by publishing the letter and has been ordered to pay Markle’s legal costs. This amount remains confidential, however, various reports speculate the cost of these damages could be more than £1m.

With contributions from L’Oréal Blackett, Sabrina Fearon-Melville, Orla Pentelow, and Shahed Ezaydi.

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Cassidy Timbrooks on ‘The Bachelor’ Isn’t the Villain You Think She Is



I knew Cassidy Timbrooks was going to be eliminated from The Bachelor the second she addressed a table full of children as “you small people.”

But it wasn’t until Clayton Echard learned she had a “friend with benefits” back home that her number came up. The Bachelor rescinded the rose he had already given her and predictably sent the 26-year-old executive assistant packing on Monday night’s episode.

In the eyes of the show, she had committed two cardinal sins: Not acting overjoyed to be around kids, and not putting her sex life on pause for a man she had never met.

That’s why her ride home from the mansion was more than just another early villain exit. The Bachelor is clearly trying to get back to basics this year — and by basics I mean American sexual politics circa 2002. The fact that Cassidy got the boot so swiftly shows how quickly the show is returning to its traditional roots. In an era of dating apps and delayed motherhood, ABC’s long-running reality dating franchise is recommitting in Clayton’s season to its core tenets: Love, marriage, and family — preferably before age 30.

In the eyes of the show, she had committed two cardinal sins: Not acting overjoyed to be around kids, and not putting her sex life on pause for a man she had never met.

Only against that backdrop would a woman like Cassidy strike anyone as an outlier. Outside of the show, she doesn’t exactly seem nefarious. Since the premiere aired, I have been following her on Instagram, where she’s been posting incredibly lucid and self-aware reflections about her time on The Bachelor, conceding in one of her Stories that she struggled to balance “confidence” with “considering other people’s takes.”

Indeed, like so many hated contestants before her, Cassidy appears to have been the victim of a selective edit and a mocking soundtrack. The unflattering edit began in earnest when she largely ignored the children at a birthday party group date to talk with the Bachelor instead. At one point, seated around a table sipping tea, she told a group of kids, “I spend as little time around you small people as possible, so forgive me…” and then immediately went on the back foot as they latched onto the comment.

I don’t blame the kids for taking offense. But any adult viewer who paid attention to her tone should have recognized the droll delivery. Was it an inartful thing to say? Sure. Children aren’t the right audience for wry humor, especially if you’re joking about avoiding them. But Cassidy didn’t deserve to be demonized as a kid hater, either.

“I knew I was giving villain, but I thought I was far more amusing and harmless,” she wrote in one of her post-show Instagram Stories, “and I think a lot of the hate is based in misogyny internalized and otherwise.”

She’s not wrong. Cassidy was punished, both in the edit and by a segment of the audience, for not going googly-eyed at the notion of spending an afternoon building a dollhouse. She certainly didn’t echo the enthusiasm of a fellow contestant who saw the kids from afar and exclaimed, “Oh my God! I’m so excited! I love children!” while running toward them.

The Bachelor is retreating to an extremely white, hyper-hetero comfort zone in which babies are the ultimate goal.

To be fair, that attitude is more in line with Clayton’s. In the first five minutes of the current season, the new Bachelor was twice moved to tears by the thought of raising a family. He introduced himself in the opening voiceover by saying, “I can’t wait to get married and have kids,” and later choked up while reading a letter from a child predicting that he will “have lots of kids.”

Clayton is nothing if not sincere, but there’s probably a reason the producers picked someone like him in the first place — and why they’re emphasizing childrearing so much this early. After years of controversy over racism in the franchise, culminating in the departure of ex-host Chris Harrison — and after more recent flirtations with progressive casting including the first same-sex engagement, a (gasp!) 39-year-old Bachelorette, and several leads of colorThe Bachelor is retreating to an extremely white, hyper-hetero comfort zone in which babies are the ultimate goal.

I used to wonder whether the horror novel I wrote satirizing Bachelor-style shows would be outdated by the time it comes out later this year, but if anything, this season has felt ripped out of time in the worst way.

Cassidy’s storyline especially has highlighted double standards that should be long dead by now. Clayton himself recently addressed viral TikToks about his dating history by saying that he “enjoyed [his] singleness” for “the last six years of my life.” This is the same Bachelor who confronted Cassidy on Monday night’s episode about allegedly “seeing someone up until the point that you came here,” as though she were beholden to him before then. Hookups for me but not for thee?

Presented in the weird logic of the show, you’d almost forget that Cassidy is one of 30 women Clayton dated simultaneously — and that, in season previews, the Bachelor will later admit to being “intimate” with two contestants. Somehow that behavior is more “for the right reasons” than having casual sex with someone before filming even began?

Cassidy may be off the air now, but her brief run was telling. This throwback edition of The Bachelor needed a villain, and the producers chose a confident woman with a history of casual dating who said “F*ck a dollhouse” on camera. It’s probably a bad sign when someone that refreshing doesn’t make it to the second rose ceremony.


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Another Day, Another Musk Tweet Pumps Dogecoin up 9%



Musk, who is the founder of Tesla and SpaceX, said he would eat a Happy Meal on TV if Fast food giant McDonald’s starts accepting Dogecoin

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Everything You Need to Know About the UK Government’s COVID Inquiry



On May 12, 2021, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced an independent public inquiry into the government’s response to and handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Established under the Inquiries Act 2005, the COVID Inquiry will examine the government’s “actions as rigorously and candidly as possible,” according to the Prime Minister, and will aim to “learn every lesson for the future.” It will do so by summoning the production of documents and witnesses to give evidence under oath in order to examine the government’s response to the pandemic.

Rt Hon Baroness Heather Hallett DBE will act as Chair of the inquiry, which is set to begin “sometime in spring 2022”. In the meantime, here’s everything you need to know about the COVID Inquiry and what we can expect from the process.

How Will The COVID Inquiry Work?

According to BBC News, the Chair of the Inquiry can call whoever they want to give evidence, “whether they are witnesses to an event or people with particular expertise.” As barristers’ chambers Doughty Street Chambers notes, witnesses to an event will be asked to give evidence of their experience or direct knowledge of what took place. They speak on behalf of an organisation, like the NHS or the police.

Evidence sessions will be given in public and under oath, per BBC News, and most sessions will be available to watch on TV and online. There’s no time limit to the inquiry either, and they can often take years due to the “huge amount of evidence that needs to be read.”

What Will Be Included In The COVID Inquiry?

The exact aims, issues, and remits included won’t be announced until closer to the start of the inquiry, but the Prime Minister has said his government would work closely with the devolved administrations and governments in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland before setting out what exactly will be included in the inquiry itself.

Shortly after announcing that an inquiry would take place, the Prime Minister told MPs that the inquiry would consider his government’s handling of the pandemic before the first lockdown in March 2020, per The Guardian. As for other issues, law firm BDB Pitmans suggests that the higher death rate in general, especially among ethnic minority groups, will be a major point of contention, as well as the government’s “procurement processes” of contracts awarded during the pandemic.

What Issues Have Been Raised Around The COVID Inquiry?

Undocumented Migrants

Following the publication of a report by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI), it’s vital that the voices of undocumented migrants are properly heard during the COVID inquiry. The report found that the UK “lagged far behind other European countries” in protecting undocumented migrants during the pandemic.

Caitlin Boswell, author of the report and policy officer at JCWI, said in a statement that if the government “wants to learn lessons” from this inquiry and “fully recover from the pandemic”, it needs to “stop prioritising its anti-immigration agenda above saving lives.” An anti-immigration agenda which is more commonly known as the Hostile Environment.

The term “Hostile Environment” is used by many to describe a set of policies that are intended to block undocumented migrants from using public services like the NHS and the police, as well as making work and housing inaccessible; effectively making life as difficult as possible.

Boswell added that the government “must listen to migrants’ voices, including those who’ve lost status, and ensure that in the future, no-one has their life put at risk because of their immigration status.” Boswell concluded that in “doing so will not only protect the most marginalised, it will help protect all of us.”

People With Disabilities

Sense, a charity which focuses on complex disabilities, has also called for the government to take the experiences of disabled people and their families into account. As the charity notes, 6 out of 10 people in the UK who have died from COID are disabled, despite making up 22 per cent of the general population.

“Decision-makers did not engage with us, our needs were often overlooked and communications were largely inaccessible,” Fazilet Hadi, Head of Policy for Disability Rights UK, explained. “Health bodies treated our lives as less valued, disabled people receiving social care were inadequately protected, some disabled children were denied education and support, and supermarkets failed to ensure that we could access food.”

There is yet to be a date announced or confirmed for the COVID Inquiry.

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