A former British Royal family aide has said that Meghan Markle was meticulous in her word choice when writing a letter to her father in 2019, as she was aware of the possibility of it being leaked to the media, according to a Reuters report.
“She asked me to review the text of the letter, saying, ‘Obviously, everything I have 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 for you as a liability,'” Jason Knauf, the former communications chief, noted in a witness statement to London’s Court of Appeal on Wednesday.
The Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL), the UK tabloid that published the letters Markle wrote to her father in 2019, appealed against a ruling in favour of the Duchess of Sussex’s copyright claims, on Tuesday. The publication claimed that the “letter was crafted specifically with the possibility of public consumption in mind, because the claimant appreciated Mr Markle might disclose it to the media.”
The Mail‘s lawyer also cited text messages sent from Meghan to Knauf which said she had decided to use the word “Daddy” to begin the letter because it “would pull at the heartstrings.” The messages allegedly also said that if her father leaked the letter, then it would be on his conscience, “but at least the world will know the truth.”
Markle had written the letter a few months after her marriage to Prince Harry in 2018.
In 2020, Prince Harry and Markle filed a lawsuit against The Mail On Sunday, managed by the ANL, for the misuse of her private information and breach of copyright. They won the privacy claim in February, and Markle later won the copyright claim in May.
However, The Mail, on Tuesday, said that “the judge should not have treated the letter as an ‘intimate communication’ between Meghan and her father, and had reached wrong conclusions on other issues.”
The duchess’ lawyers said that the appeal would allow further invasion of privacy while The Mail would profit from the “media circus that would inevitably result.”
Both Markle and Prince Harry stepped down from their responsibilities as senior working members of the British Royal family to settle in the US. In an exclusive interview with Oprah Winfrey in March, they spoke about the “deteriorating mental health” of Markle and about the Royal family’s refusal to help her.
Relations between the couple and the British tabloid media soured after the latter’s harsh comments on Markle’s biracial roots despite Prince Harry’s constant requests to refrain from doing so.