Major Paparazzi Agency Bankrupted Amid Meghan Markle Legal Battle

by Valerie Williams
Chris Jackson/Getty Images

A major paparazzi agency went bankrupt trying to defend itself from invading Meghan Markle’s privacy? LOL too bad, so sad

During their explosive interview with Oprah earlier this month, the world got to hear straight from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex how difficult their lives were while in the positions of working royals. A lack of support and empathy from the Palace amid horrid treatment from the British press was a huge factor in Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s decision to back away from the drama and head across the pond to live in Canada (and now, California).

Now, it looks like there’s a tiny bright spot in the couple’s seemingly never-ending battle with the media and paparazzi — a major paparazzi agency has gone bankrupt while fighting Markle in a privacy case.

Are we like, supposed to feel bad?

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Splash News & Picture Agency has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and among the reasons cited? A global pandemic driving tons of famous, photographable folks indoors — and their legal battle with Markle. They are a defendant in a privacy action brought by the Duchess and as a result of all of their troubles, the agency has defaulted on a loan now worth almost $1 million. LOL, poor little things.

The agency is now seeking the protection of a Nevada bankruptcy court and in case you still had even an ounce of sympathy for them, know that another factor in the agency being in rough financial shape is their habit of suing celebrities for posting copyrighted images of themselves. Like, they think it’s ok to invade the privacy of famous people simply out living their lives but then said famous people can’t post the images taken? Mmmk.

“Splash’s financial problems stem from three sources,” says Splash president Emma Curzon in a declaration submitted as part of the bankruptcy, reported by The Hollywood Reporter. “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.”

One of those cases is the aforementioned Markle case, where the agency is accused of taking photos during a “private family outing” in Canada.

While a settlement was reported to have been reached last December with a Splash rep saying at the time that the agency “will not take unauthorized photographs of the family of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex,” the case might not be over just yet.

“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.”

In other words, if Markle won, the agency would be screwed. Again, LOL.

This feels like a much-needed win after Meghan and Harry’s Oprah interview. The family is in turmoil by all accounts with reports of the talks between Harry, Prince William, and Prince Charles not going well. British public opinion of the couple plummeted after they told their story and overall, I imagine life is a bit too much for the Duke and Duchess in the wake of sharing such personal and painful revelations with the literal entire world.

At least a blood-sucking pap agency that regularly invades the privacy of people who are famous, yes, but still human and deserving of basic respect, are in big financial trouble in part as the result of stalking the Sussex fam. Sounds like karma won out.