London's High Court on Friday threw out part of a claim brought by Meghan, Britain's Duchess of Sussex, against a tabloid newspaper for breaching her privacy.
Meghan, wife of Queen Elizabeth's grandson Prince Harry, is suing publisher Associated Newspapers over articles its Mail on Sunday newspaper printed in February last year which included parts of a letter she had sent to her father, Thomas Markle.
At a hearing last week, the paper's lawyer argued that allegations it had acted dishonestly and had stoked the family rift should be removed from the case along with references to other articles about the royal which Meghan says were false.
"I agree that all three categories of allegation should be struck out of the Particulars of Claim," judge Mark Warby said in his ruling.
Lawyers for the duchess say the publication of her letter by the paper was a misuse of private information and breached her copyright. They are seeking aggravated damages. As part of the claim, they had accused the Mail and other tabloids of harassing, humiliating and manipulating Thomas Markle, and contributing towards a fallout between him and his daughter.
The two have not spoken since her glitzy wedding to Harry in May 2018.
The paper rejected the allegation it had acted dishonestly or maliciously by publishing extracts of the letter she sent her father in August 2018 and said it was "remarkable" the claim about the treatment of Markle had been made without the duchess having contacted him to see if he agreed.
"Today's ruling makes very clear that the core elements of this case do not change and will continue to move forward," said a spokesman for Schillings, Meghan's law firm.
He added, "The Duchess' rights were violated; the legal boundaries around privacy were crossed.
As part of this process, the extremes to which The Mail on Sunday used distortive, manipulative, and dishonest tactics to target The Duchess of Sussex have been put on full display."
Meghan and Harry are now living in the Los Angeles area having stepped down from their royal roles at the end of March.The case will still go on to a full trial but no date for it has yet been set.
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