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Meghan Markle sues agency over photos of paparazzi walking with Archie and his dogs


Sep 4, 2020

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Archie

The Duchess of Sussex claims her privacy was violated when the snapshots were taken in Vancouver in January.

The Duchess of Sussex claims her privacy was violated when the snapshots were taken in Vancouver in January, and has taken legal action against the Splash News agency.

London’s High Court heard on Thursday afternoon that Meghan claims that her and her son’s privacy was invaded during the incident and that data protection laws were violated when the photos were sold to British newspapers, reports the newspaper The Sun.

Attorney Jonathan Barnes, representing Meghan and her son, said at the hearing that she denies suggestions that she agreed to have the photos taken or “consented” when she saw Splash photographer Steve Dennett.

“The photographs that constitute the first stage of the unlawful conduct we complained about were taken in Vancouver.”

She said her client argues that she and her son, eight months old at the time, were walking a “private recreational route” on Vancouver Island, near the $ 13 million mansion where they were staying at the time.

“The day before, Mr. Dennett was at the plaintiffs’ private home, doing what is colloquially known as cladding their house, taking photos through the security fence,” Barnes said.

“He was not in the park by accident.”

Barnes said the photos were sold by Splash to Associated Newspapers and News Group, publishers of Mail and The Sun respectively.

Within hours of being taken, they had been posted on MailOnline with the title “Meghan Markle smiles as she takes her dogs for a walk with Archie in a baby carrier.”

“That conduct, which is essentially the trading of private information or personal data, took place here,” he said.

Meghan’s lawyers sent Splash a cease-and-desist letter, but the agency did not remove the images, Barnes said, prompting a request for the court to request a court order to prevent them from being used again.

“These images that are being objected to are still being syndicated, they could be bought and sold in this jurisdiction in two minutes if necessary,” he said.

At Thursday’s hearing, a judge ruled that the duchess’s attorneys could serve court papers on the Splash News operation in Los Angeles.

The photo agency was not represented in court, but Barnes said his lawyers had already raised several points of a possible defense in a letter sent in February.

He said Splash suggested that the Duchess and her son “had no reasonable expectations of privacy,” that they may have agreed to have the images taken and that the photographs were “in the public interest and public debate was being assisted by the use of the photographs. ”.

The lawsuit is being brought by the Duchess of Sussex and Archie Mountbatten Windsor, with both the mother and father, Prince Harry, acting as friends in their one-year-old son’s litigation.

Legal documents will now be delivered to Splash in the United States, giving the agency an opportunity to present a defense to the privacy claim.

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