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A preliminary hearing in Meghan Markle's legal case against a British newspaper took place in the United Kingdom's High Court on Friday.
The Duchess of Sussex is suing the Mail on Sunday and its parent company, Associated Newspapers, for publishing a letter she wrote to her father, Thomas Markle, that she claims was "confidential." The civil lawsuit accuses the newspaper of copyright infringement, misuse of private information and violating the U.K.’s data protection law.
Associated Newspapers denies the allegations — particularly the claim that the letter was presented in a way that changed its meaning.
As the hearing opened via video conferencing, Anthony White, a lawyer representing the publisher, told the judge that lawyers for Meghan had made “further assertions of improper, deliberate conduct," and accused the publisher of "harassing, humiliating, manipulating and exploiting” Thomas Markle.
Harry and Meghan were expected to listen in to the part of the hearing conducted by her lawyers.
Analysts have compared the case to the late Princess Diana’s lawsuit over photographs showing her exercising on gym equipment. The case was settled before it was to be heard.
Thomas Markle’s strained relationship with his daughter has complicated Meghan’s entry into the royal family.
He had been due to walk Meghan down the aisle at her May 2018 wedding, but pulled out at the last minute, citing heart problems.
The former television lighting director has given occasional interviews to the media, complaining in December 2018 that he’d been “ghosted” by his daughter after the wedding.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.