Meghan Markle’s past actions continue to be picked apart in her ongoing legal drama with The Daily Mail.
As you likely know, the Duchess of Sussex sued the Mail on Sunday for publishing a private letter she sent her father, Thomas Markle, in which she urged him to stop talking to the media. She won in court back in February, with no need for a trial in which she would have to provide evidence; however, the paper appealed.
Now some new evidence has come to light that might expose some holes in Meg and Prince Harry’s story — one being the claim that the actress’ dad was “ignoring” her in the days leading up to her wedding.
During the end of the first session of a three-day hearing in London’s Court of Appeal on Tuesday, Associated Newspapers Ltd. (ANL) lawyer Andrew Caldecott ran through a “critical” series of texts sent in the days before the 2018 royal wedding, which, according to him, showed there was “abundant contact” between Thomas and the couple.
Caldecott argued that this contradicted “very hurtful” claims made by Meg’s friends in an interview with People magazine that Thomas was “ignoring” his daughter at the time. Alleging that the previous judgment had not given sufficient weight to the texts, the lawyer added:
“This is why the texts matter.”
The text in question was allegedly sent by the Duke of Sussex in response to a message from Thomas sent at 3:24 London time that read:
“Who will be giving you away? If you really need me I will come. Sorry about all this.”
Harry’s words were not read out in court, but Caldecott described it as being “a text in quite strong terms from Prince Harry,” and invited the judge and other lawyers to read it for themselves in court papers.
After the judge and lawyers read the apparently strongly worded text, the newspaper’s lawyer noted the message had upset Thomas as he lay alone in a hospital bed recovering from heart surgery. He shared:
“It’s obvious Mr. Markle was upset by that text… He’s on his own in hospital having had a heart procedure.”
The moment came after Caldecott told the court he had “new evidence” that would show as “false” Meghan’s claim “that the letter [she wrote to her father] was crafted as an intimate communication for her father’s eyes only.” He argued:
“The letter was crafted specifically with the potential of public consumption in mind because the claimant appreciated Mr Markle might disclose it to the media.”
That evidence was provided by none other than Jason Knauf, Meg’s former communications secretary who infamously accused her of bullying.
Jason handed the court text messages the California native sent him about the handwritten note prior to sending it. She told him at the time:
“Obviously everything I’ve drafted is with the understanding that it could be leaked so I have been meticulous in my word choice but please do let me know if anything stands out to you as a liability.”
“Honestly Jason, I feel fantastic, cathartic and real and honest and factual. If he leaks it then that’s on his conscience but at least the world will know the truth, words I could never voice publicly.”
Whoa, that almost sounds like Meghan wanted it to be leaked. She did, however, afterwards clearly express that she wanted it to remain private, saying:
“Given I’ve only ever called him ‘Daddy’ it may make sense to open as such (despite him being less than paternal), and in the unfortunate event that it leaked it would pull at the heartstrings. The rest is in the spirit of facts without seeming orchestrated simply an appeal for peace and a reminder of what’s actually happened.”
Still, the paper’s lawyer argued that Meghan’s right to privacy was diluted by the fact she expressed a willingness for the world to know the contents of the letter. He also suggested the messages directly contradict Meghan’s own case to the court.
For her part Meghan said in a witness statement seen by Newsweek:
“To be clear, I did not want any of it to be published, and wanted to ensure that the risk of it being manipulated or misleadingly edited was minimized, were it to be exploited.”
We’ll see who the court sides with soon enough. The hearing is due to resume Wednesday.
In the meantime… what do U think about all this?