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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.

Court Concludes Megan Markle Can Keep Five Friends' Identities Secret

Gettyimages | WPA Pool
By Emily Reily

Meghan Markle has won a court battle that will keep the identities of five of her friends from going public.

The Duchess of Sussex has won the high court bid to keep their identities secret after they defended her in an anonymous interview to People that was published in February 2019.

The ruling is part of Markle's battle against the Associated Newspapers group, which publishes the "Daily Mail," "Mail Online" and the "Mail on Sunday."

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News about Meghan Markle often makes the tabloid press.
Unsplash | Mark de Jong

She sued Associated Newspapers for breach of copyright and copyright infringement after they published parts of a "private and confidential" letter Markle wrote to her estranged father, Thomas Markle Sr., back in August 2018.

The judge ruled that "for the time being at least," Markle should be granted an order that protects her friends' identities. Her team thanked Mr. Justice Warby and said they were "happy" with the ruling.

Meghan Markle was once a private citizen.
Wikimedia | https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Meghan_Markle_(Paley_Center_%27Suits%27)_(cropped).jpg

Markle's team wrote:

“The Duchess felt it was necessary to take this step to try and protect her friends – as any of us would – and we’re glad this was clear. We’re happy that the Judge has agreed to protect these five individuals.”

A representative for Associated Newspapers Ltd. said those who spoke with People are “important potential witnesses on a key issue”.

“No friend’s oral evidence could be fully and properly reported because full reporting might identify her, especially as there has already been media speculation as to their identities," he continued.

Giphy | euronews

Markle released a statement last month about the issue, explaining that the friends were there to protect Markle from bullying from the tabloid press.

"These five women are not on trial, and nor am I. The publisher of the Mail on Sunday is the one on trial. It is this publisher that acted unlawfully and is attempting to evade accountability; to create a circus and distract from the point of this case - that the Mail on Sunday unlawfully published my private letter."

Markle is celebrating the news that she won a court ruling this week.
Gettyimages | WPA Pool

Markle continued to explain why she chose this court battle:

"Each of these women is a private citizen, young mother, and each has a basic right to privacy. Both the Mail on Sunday and the court system have their names on a confidential schedule, but for the Mail on Sunday to expose them in the public domain for no reason other than clickbait and commercial gain is vicious and poses a threat to their emotional and mental wellbeing. The Mail on Sunday is playing a media game with real lives."

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