The Duchess of Sussex understood that her father could leak a letter at the center of a privacy violation row with a British newspaper, a court was told on Wednesday.
Associated Newspapers Limited launched an appeal Tuesday against a ruling that publishing parts of the letter to Thomas Markle violated his privacy.
In February, a judge ruled that the handwritten letter was “personal and private” and called the publication “manifestly excessive and therefore illegal,” and ordered Associated to print a front-page statement acknowledging their victory.
It has not yet done so due to the appeal, in which the lawyers for the publishers allege that the letter was drawn up in the knowledge that it could be made public.
Jason Knauf, who was communications secretary for Meghan and her husband, Prince Harry until March 2019, said in a statement to the London Court of Appeal that the Duchess had told him that she knew her father might disclose the letter. .
Knauf said Meghan, 40, had “lost confidence that he would respect the privacy of her communication with her father.”
The texts between her and Knauf included a draft of the letter and a message from Meghan saying: “Obviously, all I have written is with the understanding that it could leak, so I have been meticulous in my choice of words, but for Please let me know if anything stands out to you as a liability. “
Meghan contacted her father by letter rather than email so individual sections could not be cut, pasted and then published, Knauf said.
“As part of a series of messages on August 24, 2018, he explained that he had thought carefully about how to prevent the letter from being leaked in part or in a misleading way,” he added.
“In the event that it did leak, he wanted the full narrative to be understood and shared as set out in the letter. He said he had ‘worked hard on every detail that could be manipulated.’
‘Worked in every detail’
Meghan successfully sued Associated for a series of articles based on the letter for violation of privacy, copyright and data protection.
But Associate Attorney Andrew Caldecott argued in court that “the image presented to the judge on behalf of the plaintiff … was that it was a totally private letter written for the eyes of Mr. Markle only.
“The position we have now is a different and more nuanced position, that the letter was written and crafted with readers in mind, and I was actually happy that the public would read it if Mr. Markle leaked it,” he added. .
He said Knauf’s evidence cast doubt on the original ruling, adding that the case should have undergone a full trial.
At an earlier hearing, Meghan’s legal team said Knauf had told them that he did not write or help draft the letter.
The case must last up to three days and a trial is expected at a later date.
The letter to her 77-year-old father was written a few months after Meghan’s wedding to Harry, 37, the grandson of Queen Elizabeth II.
In it, Meghan asked her father to stop talking to tabloids and making false claims about her in interviews.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)