In October 2019, Meghan sued Mail on Sunday for publishing a personal letter she’d written to her father, claiming that the outlet was “spreading relentless propaganda” against her. Months ago, Mail on Sunday fired back with a compelling defense, alleging that the letter and other details about Meghan’s life weren’t exactly private because they were discussed at length in royal correspondents Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand's book Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family.
How did the royal experts learn about the existence of the letter? According to new court documents, Meghan indirectly leaked it to Scobie and Durand about. The documents reveal that after her father went public with disparaging claims about her, Meghan informed a friend that she had in fact called, texted, and reached out to him via letter — and she allowed that person to be a source for the authors’ book.
“[Meghan] was concerned that her father’s narrative in the media that she had abandoned him and had not even tried to contact him,” read the official court documents acquired by Town & Country. “She indicated to a person whom she knew had already been approached by the authors that the true position as above (which that person and several others who knew the Claimant already knew) could be communicated to the authors to prevent any further misrepresentation. She does not know to what extent or in what terms this one item of information concerning her communications with her father was shared with the authors.”
This is pretty important new information. In the past, Meghan’s legal team stated that she hadn’t worked with the Scobie and Durand in any capacity, but giving a friend the green light to talk with the authors about the letter does complicate the prosecution’s argument against Mail on Sunday. The publication is also challenging the infringement of copyright suit, claiming that the letter was more of a “media strategy” put together by Meghan and the Royal Family than her own original writing. Meghan’s team has since pushed back, asserting that the words were straight from the Duchess herself; Prince Harry and Communications Secretary Jason Knauf only looked over an early draft.
Regardless of whether the admission of her essentially leaking the letter impacts the case or not, it looks like Meghan will not have to face her father in court. Presiding judge Mark Warby ruled that Thomas Markle is not “an important witness” (ouch), deciding that his testimony as the recipient of the controversial letter isn’t so crucial that he would have to appear in the London court where the trial is taking place. That being said, Judge Warby did give the defense permission to get a statement via previously recorded video footage from Meghan’s dad before the trial.
A small win for Meghan — which, by the way this lawsuit is turning out, she’s going to need.