Meghan v. Associated Newspapers – Update (Again)

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex has won the right not to fly to London to testify this coming January for her court case against Associated Newspapers.

In the past few days, Meghan’s lawyers have submitted two requests to the UK court related to her lawsuit against Associated Newspapers. The first request was to delay the start of the trial, currently scheduled to begin in London on January 11, because the admission of Omid Scobie’s book Finding Freedom into evidence has created more work for her legal team.

(I don’t believe that’s the real reason she sought to delay – I think she didn’t want to have to go to London, especially when it meant having to quarantine in the UK for 14 days before the trial start date and leaving two days after Christmas day.)

The court has granted Meghan’s request to delay the start date of the trial. In fact, there have been so many meetings and motions on it that a new trial has been scheduled for Fall 2021. Since Meghan’s lawyers filed this suit in October of 2019, this has turned into a bit of a marathon.

The second request made by Meghan’s legal team is to conclude a case on the basis of a summary judgment. This means that the judge presiding over the case would make a judgment, based on all of the written testimony and pre-trial filings, of Associated Newspapers being found liable or not. This would also mean that neither Meghan, her anonymous friends, nor Omid Scobie would need to testify under oath to whether they were directed by Meghan to say flattering things about her in the February 2019 People Magazine article or in Scobie and Carolyn Durand’s book Finding Freedom.

Justice Warby, the judge presiding over this case, had indicated that he will make a decision on the issue of a summary judgment in the coming weeks/months, as Meghan’s team only filed the motion a few days ago and he has not had sufficient time to review it.

I highly doubt that a summary judgment will be issued on this case. Meghan’s lawyers are saying that they are confident they have enough information to prove beyond a doubt that Associated Newspapers breached her privacy without going to a full-blown trial. I don’t know how that can be true when there haven’t been sworn witness statements from Meghan, her friends, or Omid Scobie. Also, I think that Associated Newspapers will fight it tooth and nail because 1) they believe they have an extremely strong defense; and 2; a full-blown trial, despite the massive legal costs, would bring in insane clicks for their tabloid websites if/when it finally happens.

Personally, I was looking forward to the trial being in January of next year instead of next fall. It was going to be dramatic and juicy and fun, and also it had an end date. But this thing seems to keep going on and on like the Energizer bunny. A lot can happen in a year (just ask Meghan and Harry), so we will see how it all shakes out.

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