Megan’s father, Markle Thomas, said he believed his daughter was “explicitly authorized” or at least “approved” of an article in People a magazine about him that was a “complete lie” and that portrayed him as “dishonest, exploitative, publicist, carefree, and cold-blooded.”
Thomas, whose bombing testimony was contained in a witness statement released today in London’s Supreme Court, said a controversial letter written to him by his daughter in August 2018, four months after he missed her wedding to Prince Harry due to a heart attack , was a “criticism”
Megan is looking for the so-called “Summary” in its high-level confidentiality and copyright action against (ANL), triggered by the 2019 publication in Mail on Sunday from sections of the letter she sent to her astonished father.
If successful, a brief court ruling in favor of Megan would end much of the case without full court proceedings. Buckingham Palace is believed to have wanted Megan to find a way to avoid being the first senior king in living memory to undergo an exhausting and potentially embarrassing cross-examination of his personal life in the witness box.
In a statement released today to the Supreme Court, Thomas, who is the star witness of Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL), publishers of Mail on Sunday, said he felt “offended” in the article in People, in which five anonymous friends of Megan sat down with the post for interviews. Some of the friends referred to the letter.
Markle said in a statement: “The article gave an inaccurate picture of the content of the letter and my response and defamed me when I realized that I was dishonest, an exploiter, seeking publicity, carefree and cool-headed, leaving a loyal and obedient daughter devastated. I had to defend myself against this attack. “
ANL claims that Megan allowed her friends to hold a briefing People on the content of the letter, which is why he puts it in the public space. ANL says this entitles them to publish excerpts from the letter, with Thomas’ consent to correct the recording on his behalf. Megan rejects this interpretation of events and denies that she arranged for friends to hold a briefing on her behalf.
The identities of the five friends have been protected by the court.
In his testimony, Thomas, 76, said Megan’s handwritten correspondence made no attempt at reconciliation. He said that the letter did not even ask how he was coping after the heart attack he suffered before his daughter’s wedding in May 2018, which prevented him from attending the wedding.
Thomas said his decision to allow the newspaper to publish parts of the letter was prompted by an article in People magazine.
“That was a complete lie. It misrepresented the tone and content of the letter that Meg had written to me in August 2018. I quickly decided that I wanted to correct this misrepresentation.”
– Thomas Markle
“I was shocked by what he wrote about me,” he said in a witness statement. “It was a complete lie. It misrepresented the tone and content of the letter that Meg had written to me in August 2018. I quickly decided that I wanted to correct this misrepresentation.
“It seemed to me that the article was either explicitly authorized by Meg, or at least she knew and approved of its publication,” The times reports.
Megan, 39, is suing Associated Newspapers, the publisher of Mail on Sunday and MailOnline, over a series of articles reproducing parts of a handwritten letter sent to Mr. Markle in August 2018.
She is seeking redress for alleged misuse of personal information, copyright infringement and violation of the Data Protection Act in five articles published in February 2019, which include extracts from a “private and confidential” letter to her father.
He said: “It was a criticism of me. The letter did not say that she loved me. He didn’t even ask how I was. He showed no concern about the fact that I had a heart attack and did not ask questions about my health. This actually signals the end of our relationship, not reconciliation. “
Megan, for her part, said she suffered an “attack” on her personal and family life when Mail on Sunday published the letter she had written to her father.
Earlier, the Daily Beast reported that Megan’s lawyers said she had put herself in an “unguarded and potentially vulnerable position” by writing to her father and had never planned for the letter to be made public.
Megan also doubled allegations that she did not cooperate Finding freedom authors Omid Scoby and Carolyn Durand.
Scoby “confirmed in his testimony that neither he nor his co-author met or interviewed the plaintiff or her husband about the book,” the legal argument presented to the court by Megan’s side said.
ANL claims that the letter has an unusual status because it was written, they claim, with the assistance of a senior press officer at Kensington Palace.
Antony White QC told ANL: “No real private letter from daughter to father requires any assistance from the communication team at Kensington Palace.”
White argues that there is a “real prospect of the plaintiff failing to establish that she was the sole author in terms of copyright” as a result of the participation in writing of Jason Knauf, former Secretary of Communications for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. .
However, Megan’s team claims that she is the sole author of the letter, saying that she spent many hours composing the letter on her iPhone and simply shared a draft of it “with her husband and Mr. Knauf for support, as this it was a deeply painful process they had gone through with her, and since Mr. Knauf was responsible for informing the elderly members of the royal household of any social problems, the media show around Mr. Markle was one such problem. Mr Knauf commented on the e-project in the form of “general ideas”, as opposed to the actual wording. “
“This is as good an example as can be found for a letter that any person with ordinary sensitivity would not want to be revealed to third parties, let alone in a publication in the mass media …”
– Justin Rushbrook, CC
Justin Rushbrook KK, also representing the Duchess, described the handwritten letter as a “sincere request from a tortured daughter to her father” that Megan sent to Markle “at his home in Mexico through trusted contact … to reduce the risk of set-off.” “
He said that “the content and nature of the letter are essentially private, personal and sensitive in nature”, and therefore Megan “has reasonable expectations for confidentiality regarding the content of the letter”.
Rushbrook added in written statements: “This is as good an example as can be found of a letter that any person with ordinary sensitivity would not want to be revealed to third parties, let alone in a mass media publication, in a sensational context and to serve of the commercial purposes of the newspaper. “
He said the decision to publish the letter was an attack on “her personal life, her family life and her correspondence” in documents submitted before the hearing.
Megan’s team, described as “extremely fantastic”, said Megan did not see the letter as completely personal.
The full trial of the Duchess’s claim was due to be heard in the Supreme Court this month, but last year the case was adjourned until the autumn of 2021 for confidential reasons.