Meghan Markle’s Successful Privacy Lawsuit Won Her Less Than $2

Meghan Markle wearing a green hat and veil
Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo via Getty Images

It took nearly three years, but last month, Meghan Markle won her lawsuit against Associated Newspapers over publishing portions of a letter she wrote to her father in the Mail on Sunday in 2018. Per a media lawyer who spoke with the Guardian, the damages for invasion of privacy should have amounted to somewhere between £75,000 to £125,000. Emphasis on should: After all that time and effort, Markle will only end up taking home £1, or roughly $1.36 USD. (Though Advanced Newspapers didn’t luck out entirely: It will also pay Markle an undisclosed amount for a separate copyright infringement suit.)

The paltry sum comes as even more of a surprise given how Markle portrayed the outcome as true triumph in the statement she made shortly after the High Court issued its ruling. “This is a victory not just for me, but for anyone who has ever felt scared to stand up for what’s right,” she said in early December. “What matters most is that we are now collectively brave enough to reshape a tabloid industry that conditions people to be cruel, and profits from the lies and pain that they create.”

Though, Markle’s had always maintained she planned to donate whatever amount she was awarded to charity anyway. According to Forbes, her spokesperson says she still plans too.

Still, depending on the confidential amount she’ll receive from the copyright infringement suit, it’s possible that the legal battle will net a bit more money for charity. What’s more, it sounds like she won’t have lost any money from spending all that time in court. Associated Newspapers has also agreed to compensate Markle for her legal fees, which reportedly total more than £1 million. (And to publish an apology to Markle on the Mail on Sunday’s front page.)

Markle isn’t the only celebrity who’s pocketed what amounts to a handful of quarters after successfully pressing a charge. Taylor Swift memorably sued the former radio DJ David Mueller, whom she accused of groping her at a concert in 2013, for a symbolic $1 that she ultimately received in the form of a single Sacagawea coin.