Meghan's lawyers say UK news group has no defence for letter's publication
Lawyers for Meghan Markle on Tuesday sought to avoid a potential court showdown with her estranged father, in a high-profile breach of privacy and copyright case she has brought against a British newspaper group.
Her legal team has previously secured a postponement of a full trial for unspecified confidential reasons. But they are now arguing a further hearing with witnesses is not required.
Not only did it breach media guidelines the newspaper was signed up to but was a "triple-barrelled invasion" of her legal rights to private correspondence as well as a private and family life, he added.
Rushbrooke said only the author of a private letter had control over what happened to it, not the newspaper, and that applied to anyone, even if they were not a duchess.
Judge Mark Warby ruled against Meghan in a preliminary hearing last year, striking out elements of her claim.
Meghan, an American former television actress, alleges that reporters acted "dishonestly and in bad faith", and "deliberately dug up or stirred conflict" between her and her father.
She claimed they had an "obvious agenda of publishing intrusive or offensive stories" which were "intended to portray her in a false and damaging light".
In particular, Associated accuses Meghan of giving the authors of "Finding Freedom", a biography of her life with Harry, details about the letter to portray her version of events in a more favourable light.
The news group also claims she wanted to use the letter "as part of a media strategy", and discussed it with royal communications officials before it was sent.
But Rushbrooke said the court could be satisfied there was no cooperation or strategy in the writing of the letter, which he described as a "heartfelt plea" to her father to stop speaking to the media.
"It simply doesn't make sense for the claimant to put that sort of letter in the public domain. It would achieve the very opposite of what she's trying to achieve," he added.
"We say there was no debate of general interest," said Rushbrooke. "There was the rather sad intricacies of a family relationship, which is not a matter of public interest.
"It's absolutely clear they (Associated) have failed to advance a viable case for justifying the intrusion into the claimant's (privacy) rights."
Scraping the barrel
On copyright, Associated is claiming "fair-dealing" by publishing extracts of the letter.
But lawyer Ian Mill, also representing Meghan, said they had "no case" and a trial was not needed.
Their arguments were "the result of scraping the bottom of every barrel that could conceivably be found. They fail miserably to achieve that result", he added.
Meghan and Harry, who quit frontline royal duties in March last year citing media intrusion, are waging an increasingly public war with some news outlets.
Harry -- grandson of Queen Elizabeth II and son of heir to the throne Prince Charles and the late Diana, princess of Wales -- has separately brought cases against two other British tabloid publishers for alleged phone hacking.
The couple now live with their young son Archie in the United States and have set up a charitable foundation.