A legal expert has warned Meghan Markle to “get out now” from her lawsuit against Associated Newspapers after the duchess was dealt yet another blow to her case earlier this week.
According to Newsweek, Mark Stephens, of the British law firm Howard Kennedy, claimed that the presiding judge’s recent decision to allow Sussex biography Finding Freedom to be used as evidence by the defense has the possibility of damaging both her chances of court victory and her reputation.
“If I was advising Meghan I’d be saying get out now. This is another hole below the waterline,” he said.
“The risk is that how she curates her reputation, what she allows into the public domain and what she doesn’t, are now things that will be picked over by lawyers in cross-examination,” he added.
The lawsuit centers around the decision of the Mail on Sunday to publish excerpts of a letter that the duchess had written to her father following their fallout when he colluded with photographers and later missed her wedding due to health complications.
The duchess’s team has claimed that this was a breach of privacy. Meanwhile, the defense has argued that the former Suits actress was the first person to bring the letter into the public sphere by talking about it with at least five friends, who then mentioned the missive in a flattering People Magazine article.
The latest decision means that the defense team for Associated Newspaper will be able to cross-examine co-authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand under oath. The legal drama will likely cover whether the Sussexes collaborated with Scobie, as the royal reporter had previously claimed in a television interview that Meghan had written the letter with the “public in mind,” according to The Express.
It is not just Scobie and Durand who could be called to the stand. Thomas Markle, the duchess’s father, will likely testify, as will some of the friends that spoke to People Magazine. Moreover, it is believed that Meghan will at some point be called as well.
“She feels strongly about it but the reality is she has only got a downside here,” Stephens continued.
“The more that she protests about wanting to protect her privacy, the more that people are going to investigate how she has curated the Streisand effect of amplifying the positive PR and negativizing the other PR,” he concluded.
The Streisand Effect is the social phenomenon of unintentionally amplifying negative information during the process of trying to hide or remove it.