Meghan Markle ‘had help writing “private” letter to dad from palace aides’ court documents claim

MEGHAN Markle had help writing a "private" letter to her dad Thomas Markle from Palace aides, court documents claim.

The Duchess of Sussex is suing Associated Newspapers, the publisher of the Mail on Sunday, for releasing a letter she wrote to her estranged father.

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She claims the publication of extracts from the "private and confidential" letter breached Data Protection Act and infringement of copyright.

Meghan is also seeking damages for alleged misuse of private information over the five articles published in February 2019.

But court documents say the letter was not Meghan's "own intellectual creation" in claims that could blow the case apart if proved to be true.

Lawyers for Associated Newspaper argue the letter was "copied" from an electronic draft.

And they say the Kensington Palace communications team "contributed to the writing" of the draft.

'HELP WRITING LETTER'

The documents continue: "It is for the Claimant to prove she was the only person who contributed to the writing of the Electronic Draft.

"Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, the Defendant infers that Jason Knauf and/or others in the Kensington Palace Communications team contributed to the writing of the Electronic Draft.

"Precisely which parts were the result of such contribution is uniquely known to the Claimant, Jason Knauf and others in the team."

Associated Newspapers claimed Prince Harry's wife had herself leaked details of the letter to the media through friends.

The publisher argued that Meghan was "pleased" when five friends spoke up to defend her in an interview with People Magazine, which mentioned the letter.

COURT BATTLE

Meghan last month won her bid to delay the court battle for almost a year over a "confidential" matter.

A ten-day trial was set to take place in London on January 11 next year, with the 39-year-old possibly expected to give evidence in the witness box.

The decision to delay came despite her dad Thomas warning he "could die tomorrow".

In a statement to the court, the dad said none of his male relatives had ever lived beyond 80 years of age, saying: "I am a realist and I could die tomorrow. The sooner this case takes place the better."

The "elderly and sick" man, who currently lives in Mexico, also detailed his health concerns including struggling to walk 40 steps without getting out of breath.

Meghan had previously lost a court battle to block claims she allegedly co-operated with the authors of explosive biography Finding Freedom.

Finding Freedom, written by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, is a tell-all about the Sussexes experience when they quit as senior royals in what become dubbed Megxit.

Meghan’s lawyers have fiercely denied she collaborated with the authors – even calling the stories in Finding Freedom “extremely anodyne, the product of creative licence and/or inaccurate” in a bid to distance her from it.

And Scobie claimed in his witness statement it was "false" to suggest Harry or Meghan collaborated on Finding Freedom.

Meghan, who is currently living in the US with Prince Harry and their one-year-old son Archie, is suing ANL over five articles in total, two in the MoS and three on MailOnline, which were published in February 2019, and reproduced parts of a handwritten letter she sent to her father in August 2018.

ANL wholly denies the allegations, particularly the duchess's claim that the letter was edited in any way that changed its meaning, and says it will hotly contest the case.


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