Meghan Markle’s dad kept letter secret for 6 months, court hears

A letter from Meghan Markle to her father was kept hidden for months before an article in the US about Thomas Markle caused him to go public, a court heard.

Mr Markle claims that he was provoked into revealing a private letter after the Duchess of Sussex’s friends ‘attacked’ him in an article published by People.

The reason behind Mr Markle’s leak to the press came out at the Court of Appeal involving Associated Newspapers, which owns the Daily Mail and Mail Online, and Meghan over publication of the letter.

As reported by the Daily Mail, Andrew Caldecott QC, representing the newspaper group, told the court that Mr Markle had “honored the privacy” in the letter until he saw the People article.

Caldecott QC said: “The article painted Meghan in a glowing light, while insisting the negative stories about her were lies. But Mr Markle says Meghan’s decision to reveal the letter left him with no choice but to go public.”

Mr Markle said the letter “vilified me and wasn’t true” before saying the letter was presented as “reaching out” to heal the rift but claims the “letter is not like that at all”.

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He continued: “‘Either we believe in freedom of expression or we do not. Mr Markle has been royally attacked in the People magazine in precisely the way he there describes, and this is his reply.”

The Duchess of Sussex previously won a High Court privacy battle against The Mail on Sunday after they published extracts of the letter addressed to her father.

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The appeal hearing last week heard evidence from Jason Knauf, who was Meghan and Prince Harry's press secretary at the time.

Mr Knauf supplied the court with emails and text messages regarding how he had helped Meghan with the letter to her father.

The Duchess of Sussex wrote to Mr Knauf that the letter she drafted is with “the understanding that it could be leaked”.

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She then told him that if it would be leaked it would be on her father’s “conscience but at least the world will know the truth”.

The court heard how Mr Knauf had made a “few tweaks” to the letter.

The appeal court judges are now being asked to overturn the original ‘summary judgment’ and launch a full trial due to Mr Knauf’s evidence.

The three judges will give their verdict on the appeal at a later date.

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