Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have been winning in court against British tabloids. In the unprecedented lawsuit, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex sued the UK-based Associated Newspapers, who publish the Mail on Sunday and the Daily Mail, for damages related a to a private letter printed by the new outlet. Last month, Markle won her breach of privacy suit against Associated, and now, she's been awarded $650,000 in legal fee recoupment damages.
That's not a paltry sum of money. Yet it's not enough, as People reports — her legal fees were estimated to be around $1.88 million. Associated was ordered to pay 90% of her total legal fees corresponding to the case, and that $650,000 represents an "interim payment" only. Our math isn't great, but she is still owed over $1 million to pay for her lawyers.
Judge Mark Warby, who is presiding over the case in the UK, ordered the $650,000 as an immediate down payment. In a statement, he said that the damages "reflect what I consider the likely costs reasonably incurred" as Markle fought the case, and that this amount is "genuinely recoverable" from Associated Newspapers.
The case stems from a personal letter that Markle wrote to her father. In 2018, the Mail on Sunday published the handwritten letter, which, for all legal and moral intents and purposes, was a private family communication. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex called the publication a "ruthless campaign;" Prince Harry specifically noted that he was reminded of the tabloid cruelty against his mother, Princess Diana. It is expected that the couple will discuss the case in their upcoming interview with Oprah Winfrey, airing on CBS on March 7.