Meghan Markle is suing photo agency Splash News after they took pictures of her with her son, Archie, at a park on Vancouver Island. In the snaps — which were taken in January — the 39-year-old was spotted walking in the woods with her tot strapped to her chest.
The Suits alum claimed that her privacy was invaded since the pictures were sold to the British newspapers. “They were papped in the location that we’ve already discussed,” Jonathan Barnes, Markle’s attorney, told the High Court in London, England. “They plead that this was without their acquiescence or consent. They were on a private recreational outing on the morning of January 20, 2020. The photographs which are the first stage of the wrongful conduct we complain about took place in Vancouver.”
“The day before, [Splash photographer Steve Dennett] was at the private home of the claimants, doing what might be colloquially known as casing their home, taking photos through the security fence,” Barnes added. “He wasn’t at the park by accident.”
As a result, the images were sold to Associated Newspapers and News Group, which publishes the Mail and The Sun. “That conduct, which is essentially trading of private information or personal data, all took place here,” Barnes noted.
Markle’s lawyers sent a “cease and desist” letter to Splash, but Barnes said that the agency would not remove the photos. “These images about which objection is raised are still being syndicated, they could be bought and sold in this jurisdiction in two minutes time if necessary,” Barnes said.
During the hearing — which took place on Friday, September 4 — a judge ruled that Markle could serve court papers to Splash News in Los Angeles despite everything taking place in a different country.
This is hardly the first time Markle has been embroiled in a battle with the photo agency. After a Splash photograph took a photo of Markle and Prince Harry inside of their home in Cotswolds, U.K., the couple was given a “substantial payout.”
In October 2019, Markle sued The Mail on Sunday for publishing a private letter she previously sent to her estranged father, Thomas Markle.
“There is a human cost to this relentless propaganda, specifically when it is knowingly false and malicious,” Harry said. “And though we have continued to put on a brave face — as so many of you can relate to — I cannot begin to describe how painful it has been.”
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