Major Paparazzi Agency Files For Bankruptcy Amid Legal Battle With Meghan Markle

Major Paparazzi Agency Files For Bankruptcy Amid Legal Battle With Meghan Markle

Meghan sued Splash News for breach of privacy over photos taken of her and her then 8-month-old son Archie in 2020.

Splash News and Picture Agency, known for its paparazzi photos of celebrities, has filed for bankruptcy. The leading agency cited a legal battle with Meghan Markle as one of the reasons for its financial decline. According to Good Morning America, the Duchess of Sussex had sued the agency over photos taken of her and her baby on Vancouver Island in February 2020. The 39-year-old sued the agency for breach of privacy over the photographs of her and her then-8-month-old son, Archie, soon after the family had announced their decision to step down as senior, working members of the British monarchy.




As for the agency, it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, citing multiple causes. "Splash’s financial problems stem from three sources," states Splash president Emma Curzon in a declaration submitted as part of the bankruptcy, reports The Hollywood Reporter.  Curzon pointed out that the coronavirus pandemic was one of the contributors to their current financial situation. "As a consequence of the global pandemic the availability of celebrity images has declined and budgets within media companies have been cut to reflect wider macro-economic challenges. This situation has been exacerbated by two ongoing litigation cases and the costs of defending these cases."




Of the two pending lawsuits that have been the a reason for their financial problems, one includes a legal battle with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. "The case involves free speech-related issues under United Kingdom law and, unfortunately, has proven to be too unbearably expensive for Splash to continue its defense," said Curzon. "Furthermore, if the plaintiffs were to prevail in that case it would likely result in a large attorney fee award against Splash. Notwithstanding the merits of the case the company has sought to settle this matter but has been unable to agree [on] a financial settlement within its resources."




Harry and Meghan have launched multiple lawsuits against organizations as a result of how tabloids have been waging "a ruthless campaign," especially against Harry's wife. At the end of their 2019-tour in South Africa, he said, "For these select media this is a game, and one that we have been unwilling to play from the start. I have been a silent witness to [Meghan's] private suffering for too long. To stand back and do nothing would be contrary to everything we believe in."




The couple recently spoke out about the effect the media had on their lives in the explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey. Harry revealed that his "biggest concern was history repeating itself," a reference to Princess Diana, who died in 1997 after being injured in a Paris car crash while being pursued by paparazzi. The couple is determined to overcome these hurdles together. "For me, I'm just really relieved and happy to be sitting here, talking to you with my wife by my side," Harry said while sitting next to Meghan. "Because I can't begin to imagine what it must have been like for her going through this process by herself all those years ago. Because it has been unbelievably tough for the two of us, but at least we had each other."









Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Dan Kitwood

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