Meghan Markle ‘wanted her account of letter published’, father Thomas believes | Royal | News (Reports)

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Meghan Markle: Royal expert gives court case update

The Duchess of Sussex is suing Associated Newspapers for alleged breach of privacy and copyright by the Mail on Sunday and MailOnline. The case centres around five articles containing extracts from a letter she sent to her estranged father a few months after her wedding to Prince Harry. Meghan’s legal team are applying for a summary judgement in a hearing today which, if approved by Judge Warby, would end the case without it needing to go to trial.

One element of the publisher’s defence is an article published by People magazine in February 2019, which quoted five close friends of Meghan.

In this article, the existence of the letter was revealed, as well as a description of its contents.

One of Meghan’s friends, who has remained anonymous, told the outlet: “After the wedding she wrote him a letter.

“She’s like, ‘Dad, I’m so heartbroken. I love you. I have one father. Please stop victimising me through the media so we can repair our relationship.”

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Meghan Markle and her father Thomas Markle (Image: GETTY / ITV)

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Meghan was walked down the aisle by Prince Charles because Thomas was not there (Image: GETTY)

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However, Mr Markle, who provided a witness statement at the request of the publisher, claimed he was “shocked” by the article, because it was a “total lie” that “misrepresented the tone and content” of the letter.

He said he reached out to the Mail in order to defend himself against what he saw as an unfair characterisation of him.

Meghan’s father added that he thought Meghan must have approved the article herself and that she must have wanted her account of the letter to be published.

He wrote: “It seemed to me that the article had either been expressly authorised by Meg or that she had at the very least known about it and approved of its publication.

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Meghan wrote a letter to her father Thomas Markle in August 2018 (Image: )

“I believed (and still believe) she wanted her account of the letter to be published.

“The sources for the article were said to be Meg’s ‘best friends’.

“It seems to me she must have used these friends to pass information to the press, information that she wanted published, including information about the letter she had obviously told them she had written.

“I did not think her friends would have disclosed information about the letter unless she had asked them to.

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Meghan and Harry’s romance timeline (Image: GETTY)

“The article also referred to my letter back to Meg, which only she would have known about.”

However, Meghan has claimed through her lawyers she did not know her friends would tell People about the letter and would not have consented to it if she had.

In court documents from last year, it is claimed she had “no knowledge that her friends would make any reference to the letter or its contents, the intention of sending it or the response her father sent, nor would she have agreed to this being done had she been made so aware”.

The Duchess of Sussex also denied knowing or believing her father would tell the media about it.

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Meghan’s team acknowledged that the description of the contents in People was “completely wrong” in that it suggested the Duchess’ letter was an attempt to repair her relationship with her father.

Mr Markle added in his own witness statement that Meghan has not told him she loved him, as was claimed by her friend in the People article.

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He added that Meghan did not even ask him about his health, having known he suffered a heart attack around the time of her wedding.

Meghan’s lawyer, Justin Rushbrooke QC, argued the handwritten note was a “quintessentially private letter” between family members.

He claimed its publication was a “triple-barrelled” invasion of Meghan’s privacy in respect to correspondence, a private life and a family life.

Mr Rushbrooke described the handwritten letter as a “heartfelt pleas from an anguished daughter to her father”.

He said the contents and character were “intrinsically private, personal and sensitive in nature” and therefore Meghan had a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Associated Newspapers’ legal team emphasised Mr Markle’s right to defend himself against what he saw as a “misrepresentation”.

They also argued that Meghan wrote the letter “with a view to it being disclosed publicly at some future point” in order to “defend her against charges of being an uncaring or loving daughter”.

Judge Warby will decide whether the case can be decided in a Summary Judgement or whether it should go to trial and have all the evidence investigated more closely.

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