Meghan, Duchess of Sussex has been dealing with a slew of negative press reports since she started dating Prince Harry in 2016. Even after joining the royal family in 2018, Meghan continued to be attacked in the media.
Last year, she and Harry decided to take legal actions against a few British newspapers. However, the couple recently experienced a setback with their lawsuit, and experts are suggesting that they end the legal battle before the situation potentially gets worse.
Meghan Markle is suing Associated Newspapers for allegedly invading her privacy
Meghan and Harry are plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Associated Newspapers Ltd (ANL), the company that owns a number of popular British papers like the Daily Mail and Metro.
According to Meghan, ANL invaded her privacy by publishing a personal letter written to her father. In a statement released by the Sussexes, there are also claims that ANL has been trying to taint Meghan’s image and perpetuate lies about her.
ANL’s defense is that Meghan purposely put information about herself out into the public eye, citing a People article where five anonymous friends spoke about her life. However, Meghan and her team have denied that she allowed her friends to share details with People on her behalf.
Meghan Markle lost the latest round of her lawsuit
Recently, ANL also brought up the book Finding Freedom by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand in the lawsuit. Royal followers have long believed the biography about Meghan and Harry was written with cooperation from the Sussexes because of how many details the authors supposedly know about the couple’s private life.
However, Meghan and Harry continue to deny any involvement in the book. Meghan’s lawyer, Jenny Afia, even gave a long list of “inaccurate” details in Finding Freedom to prove there was no cooperation from the Sussexes.
However, a judge recently ruled against the Sussexes, which means Finding Freedom can be used in court and ANL will be allowed to question Meghan under oath about any alleged involvement in the book.
Why legal experts think Meghan Markle should drop the lawsuit
According to Newsweek, legal experts believe this could potentially not turn out well for Meghan, especially now that she will be questioned in detail about she brands and markets herself in the press.
“If I was advising Meghan I’d be saying get out now,” said attorney Mark Stephens. “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. The stakes are enormous because at the moment her reputation is not damaged particularly.”
Stephens also warned about the “Streisand” effect, which refers to how sometimes an attempt to cover up negative information backfires, leading to more attention paid to it instead. It refers to the incident in 2003 of Barbara Streisand suing a photographer for including her house in his images of the California coastline. Because of the lawsuit, however, the website where Streisand’s home can be seen was viewed over 420,000 times, as reported by the BBC. Before the lawsuit, it was only downloaded six times.
Eric Schiffer, chairman of Reputation Management Consultants, believes Meghan and Harry’s lawsuit showcases how unsophisticated they are in their PR tactics.
“I think you’re going to see cracks that will create a further backlash against Meghan and an immense level of regret on the part of the two to go down the route of this war against the media, which is stone cold-crazy,” Schiffer told Newsweek. “It’s a choice that I think many would say is not only unwise but shows a further level of lack of sophistication in their media approach.”
He also added, “If they think they’re going to create a big chilling effect on the media, it’s just going to escalate a desire for the media to uncover more.”
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