Meghan Markle's lawyers 'surprised' judge struck arguments from privacy lawsuit, says case 'to move forward'

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Meghan Markle suffered a slight setback in her privacy lawsuit against the Mail on Sunday on Friday but her attorneys tell Fox News they are still in pursuit of justice for the Duchess.

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.

The judge presiding over the case ruled in partial favor of Associated Newspapers on Friday by striking the Duchess of Sussex's arguments that the publication acted dishonestly and attempted to create conflict between Meghan and her father.

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Meghan Markle, her father Thomas Markle and Prince Harry have been feuding since before the royal wedding.

Meghan Markle, her father Thomas Markle and Prince Harry have been feuding since before the royal wedding. (Getty / YouTube / Getty)

“Today’s ruling makes very clear that the core elements of this case do not change and will continue to move forward. The Duchess’ rights were violated; the legal boundaries around privacy were crossed. As part of this process, the extremes to which The Mail on Sunday used distortive, manipulative, and dishonest tactics to target The Duchess of Sussex have been put on full display," attorneys for Meghan told Fox News in a statement.

Meghan's legal team continues: “Whilst the Judge recognizes that there is a claim for breach of privacy and copyright, we are surprised to see that his ruling suggests that dishonest behavior is not relevant. We feel honesty and integrity are at the core of what matters; or as it relates to the Mail on Sunday and Associated Newspapers, their lack thereof.

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Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend The Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House on March 5, 2020 in London, England. 

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend The Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House on March 5, 2020 in London, England.  (WireImage)

"Nonetheless, we respect the Judge's decision as the strong case against Associated will continue to focus on the issue of a private, intimate and hand-written letter from a daughter to her father that was published by The Mail on Sunday. This gross violation of any person's right to privacy is obvious and unlawful, and The Mail on Sunday should be held to account for their actions."

Associated Newspapers has denied the allegations contained in Meghan's suit — particularly the claim that the letter was presented in a way that changed its meaning.

The case opened last week in the United Kingdom's High Court 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 last week's hearing conducted by her lawyers.

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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry recently said they will no longer cooperate with a number of British publications.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry recently said they will no longer cooperate with a number of British publications. (Getty)

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.

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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.