As Meghan‘s legal team appealed to the High Court to protect the identity of five friends of the Suits actress in the privacy case against AN today, Justin Rushbrooke QC, on behalf of Meghan presented his written opinions to the legal body.
In the papers, he stated, “To force the claimant, as the defendant urges this court to do, to disclose their identities to the public at this stage would be to exact an unacceptably high price for pursuing her claim for invasion of privacy against the defendant in respect of its disclosure of the letter. On her case, which will be tried in due course, the defendant has been guilty of a flagrant and unjustified intrusion into her private and family life. Given the close factual nexus between the letter and the events leading up to the defendant’s decision to publish its contents, it would be a cruel irony was she required to pay that price before her claim has even been determined.”
Justifying the cause
He further explained, “The friends are not parties to this action, but unwilling participants. At this early stage of the litigation it cannot be said with certainty that they would be witnesses at the trial. It is bad enough that the position was taken in correspondence, but it is disappointing to see it persisted within written submissions (by ANL) put before the court. The true position is, let there be no doubt about it, that the claimant has done nothing of the sort. It was the defendant who made the interviews with People relevant.
It was the defendant who forced the claimant to identify the names of the five friends in a court document by serving a request for further information that required those names to be given and, for her part, we submit that the claimant has done what she reasonably and sensibly could to protect their confidentiality and privacy rights.”
On the contrary
Meanwhile, the publisher’s attorney, Antony White QC, submitted his written statement to the court reading, “The friends are important potential witnesses on a key issue. Reporting these matters without referring to names would be a heavy curtailment of the media’s and the defendant’s entitlement to report this case and the public’s right to know about it. No friend’s oral evidence could be fully and properly reported because full reporting might identify her, especially as there have already been media speculation as to their identities.”