AceShowbiz - Meghan, Duchess of Sussex suffered another blow as a judge at London's High Court ruled on Tuesday (29Sep20) that newspaper publishers Associated Newspapers Ltd (ANL) could amend their case ahead of a trial next year.
The British royal is suing the publisher of the Mail On Sunday and MailOnline over an article which reproduced parts of a "private and confidential" handwritten letter she sent to her estranged father, Thomas Markle, in August, 2018.
Last week, the defendants applied for permission to amend their case, arguing the couple had cooperated with a biography about them which was published in August featuring the contents of the letter.
While judge Francesca Kaye said she made no view on the strength of the Mail's case, the amendments could not be said to be "unarguable or utterly fanciful."
Despite claims she and her husband Prince Harry "co-operated" with the authors of "Finding Freedom", Meghan's lawyers insist accusations the Duke and Duchess "collaborated" on the project were a "conspiracy theory," arguing that references to the letter in the book were simply "extracts from the letter lifted from the defendant's own articles."
Meghan is suing Associated Newspapers Ltd over five articles in total - two in the Mail on Sunday and three on MailOnline - which were published in February, 2019 and reproduced parts of a handwritten letter she sent to her father in August 2018.
The Duchess is seeking damages for alleged misuse of private information, copyright infringement and breach of the Data Protection Act. ANL officials deny the allegations and say it will hotly contest the case.
In May, Mr Justice Warby struck out parts of Meghan's claim, including allegations that the publisher acted "dishonestly" by leaving out certain passages of the letter. She has agreed to cover around $88,000 (£67,000) of the publisher's legal fees for that hearing.