A judge in London has ruled in favour of the Duchess of Sussex and prohibited the publication of the personal details of five of her friends who condemned bullying she received from the UK press.
Last year the five spoke anonymously to People magazine in the United States and criticised her treatment by Fleet Street.
#Breaking The Duchess of Sussex has won a High Court bid to keep secret the identities of five friends who gave an anonymous interview to a US magazine, in the latest stage of her legal action against Associated Newspapers— PA Media (@PA) August 5, 2020
The duchess - former US actress Meghan Markle - is suing Associated Newspapers over an article published in the Mail on Sunday and online which quoted portions of a handwritten letter she wrote to her estranged father, Thomas Markle, after she married Prince Harry in 2018.
The newspaper's lawyers say the friends' evidence "is at the heart of the case'' because they mentioned the letter in the People magazine article and their identities should be known.
The fact that Meghan Markle gets a tougher press than Prince Andrew rather neatly tells you everything you need to know about power, influence, class and race in the UK.— Guy Fawkes (@blunted_james) August 2, 2020
The duchess is seeking damages for misuse of private information, copyright infringement and data protection breaches. Associated Newspapers is defending the claim in the High Court in London.
On Wednesday, 29 July, the judge, Mr Justice Mark Warby, was asked to consider an application by her lawyers forbidding the publication of her friends’ names.
Justin Rushbrooke, counsel for the duchess, said the court had a duty to "protect the identity of confidential journalistic sources.''
On Wednesday, 4 August, Judge Warby ruled in favour of the duchess - who turned 39 on Tuesday - and said the case would proceed with the women's identities kept secret.
The full trial is not expected to take place until later this year or early next year.