On Boxing Day 2021, The Daily Mail finally admitted defeat in the case after Meghan Markle’s aggressive litigation. While she and some in her team may consider it a long-fought victory, it isn’t. Meghan may have won the legal victory, but the former actress’ reputation and credibility took a severe hit.
When Meghan Markle filed her lawsuit against The Daily Mail in 2019 for invasion of privacy after it published an allegedly private letter she sent to her father. At the time, the filing was a shock as it was done at the tail end of a what was considered a highly successful royal tour of South Africa.
In a statement, Prince Harry said: “The contents of a private letter were published unlawfully in an intentionally destructive manner to manipulate you, the reader, and further the divisive agenda of the media group in question. In addition to their unlawful publication of this private document, they purposely misled you by strategically omitting select paragraphs, specific sentences, and even singular words to mask the lies they had perpetuated for over a year.”
The purpose was to get The Daily Mail to capitulate and amend their coverage of the Duchess of Sussex to something less antagonistic and more flattering.
If that was the desired goal, the lawsuit has failed to achieve the desired result.
As the trial went on, especially in the appeals process, damaging private information and communications between the then duchess and her staff members were revealed.
Most critically, information provided by former communications secretary Jason Knauf contradicted previous statements that Meghan had made under oath about her involvement with the authors of the very flattering hagiography “Finding Freedom” and her true intentions with the letter sent to her father.
In the end, Meghan had to apologize to the court for failing to provide the pertinent information, claiming that she simply had “forgotten.”
So even as the former actress received a financial settlement and the publication admitted that Meghan Markle won on its front page, a rather petty move requested by the former actress, but she didn’t rally win. In the end, it was really the Mail that benefited.
The information discovered throughout the trial resulted in dozens if well over 100 headlines for The Daily Mail. Everything from endless discussions about which five friends spoke to People Magazine to the four staff members who seemed willing to testify against their once royal employer, Meghan is the only one coming out worse for wear.
At the end of the day, she revealed herself as a liar and someone comfortable with manipulating the system in order to get ahead.
Her popularity has plummeted as a result of the trail and other post-Megxit actions.
And now that the Daily Mail has been forced to pay, she can continue to expect negative headlines and investigative stories into her past and other actions.
Being a member of the British royal family is a careful game, where patience and a steadfast dedication to duty will always win. Lawsuits are not the way to win friends and influence people.
In the end, Meghan may feel a sense of vindication, but her victory is hollow as she will likely find that positive articles are fewer and further between.