Meghan Markle has won her bid to delay her High Court trial against Associated Newspapers for almost a year.
After a virtual hearing on Thursday, a judge allowed the trial to be pushed from its scheduled date in January next year to October or November 2021 after Meghan Markle requested the delay citing a "confidential matter," reports The Sun.
The Duchess of Sussex who is suing Associated Newspapers over the publication of a letter she sent to her estranged father Thomas Markle in one of its tabloids was due to attend the 10-day trial starting in a UK court on Jan. 11, 2021. However, the hearing was delayed "in order to protect the confidentiality of some of the facts put in evidence."
High Court Justice Mark Warby granted the postponement after a private hearing announcing that the "primary basis" for the ruling was a "confidential" matter.
"The right decision in all the circumstances is to grant the application to adjourn. That means that the trial date of Jan. 11, 2021 will be vacated and the trial will be refixed for a new date in the autumn," the judge ruled.
Meghan's father Thomas Markle who is willing to testify against his daughter in the case argued that the trial should take place as soon as possible because of his age. The 76-year-old stated: "None of my male relatives has ever lived beyond 80 years of age. I am a realist and I could die tomorrow. The sooner this case takes place the better."
The delay also means that the former American actress and her husband Prince Harry will not have to return to the British royal's homeland this year. Since the coronavirus guidelines in the UK requires those arriving from a foreign land to isolate for two weeks, the Sussexes were supposed to leave for the country this year itself to be able to complete their quarantine before the trial.
According to The Sun, the "Suits" alum's lawyers have also lodged an application for a Summary Judgment, which means there will be no trial and instead the judge will make a ruling based on the cases submitted on paper by the two sides without taking any witnesses or further evidence into account.
A source close to the 39-year-old told the outlet: "We do not believe that the defence's case has a chance of succeeding, and do not believe there is a compelling reason for trial. We are confident in our case and therefore believe it should be determined on a summary basis."