Duchess of Sussex to sue Mail on Sunday over 'campaign of lies'

Victoria Ward
Duchess of Sussex attends the 91st Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey in London, Britain, 07 November, 2019 - REX

The Duchess of Sussex has accused a tabloid newspaper of publishing lies, including claims she bought a £5,000 copper bath and spent £500,000 on sound-proofing her Windsor home.

Documents lodged at the High Court are said to accuse The Mail on Sunday of exploiting her father, Thomas Markle, and making false claims about her baby shower and her relationship with Doria Ragland, her mother.

According to the Byline Investigates website, the Duchess accuses The Mail newspapers of a three-year campaign against her, listing what an extensive list of “false” and “absurd” stories.

They reportedly included claims the Duke and Duchess “splashed out £5,000” on a copper bathtub and “forked out £500k” on sound-proofing to block out the noise of aeroplanes from Heathrow.

Suggestions the couple installed a yoga studio, an orangery, a tennis court and a “guest wing” for Ms Ragland are also said to be untrue.

The Duchess is seeking unspecified damages relating to claim of breach of copyright, data protection and privacy under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Stories she will argue were fabricated will reportedly include one that described her as being “(almost) straight outta Compton”, another suggesting her former private secretary walked out because she was “difficult” to work with and another suggesting she “deliberately” left her mother out of her baby shower and “ditched” her for her celebrity friends.

The papers are said to describe the latter as “untrue and offensive,” going on to note that Ms Ragland was “of course” invited but could not attend because of work commitments.

The 15-page document argues that a string of articles about the renovation of Frogmore Cottage, the Sussexes’ home, were “made up” and “misleading” and designed to suggest the Duchess “had indulged in this series of absurdly lavish renovations”.

Copyright arguments will centre on a letter she sent to Mr Markle, which was portrayed as an “original literary work” when sections were instead “cherry-picked” to be intentionally misleading and dishonest.

The Mail on Sunday has previously vowed to defend the claim “vigorously” and has categorically denied that the letter was edited in “any way that changed its meaning”.

Buckingham Palace declined to comment.