Meghan Markle was handed a victory in court after it was found that a British publisher violated her privacy by publishing a private letter originally sent to her estranged father, Thomas Markle. Now testimony from the Duchess of Sussex’s former communications director has been made public that indicates Meghan was not only fully aware that the letter could be leaked but wrote it with idea that it would be. In fact, the aide revealed, Meghan included some details to more easily “pull at the heartstrings” in case the letter was leaked.
Meghan Markle’s Letter Heard ‘Round The World
Shortly after her 2018 wedding to Prince Harry, Meghan Markle wrote a letter to her father Thomas begging him to stop giving interviews to the media. Thomas later gave the handwritten letter to British media giant Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL), which is the publisher behind the Daily Mail, and the outlet wound up publishing five articles that contained excerpts from the letter.
Meghan later sued ANL in 2020, claiming the organization infringed her copyright, breached the Data Protection Act, and misused her private information. The case was eventually resolved in her favor, but now ANL is appealing the ruling, arguing that the letter “was written with public consumption in mind as a possibility.” This renewed push is based on testimony from a familiar figure within The Firm.
Jason Knauf, who previously served as Meghan’s director of communications, testified in court that the Duchess of Sussex was well aware of the possibility that her letter to Thomas Markle could be leaked to the public, and that she wrote the letter with that in mind.
A Familiar Figure In Meghan’s Scandals
Knauf, if you’ll recall, was also the aide behind the bombshell claims that Meghan was involved in a bullying scandal. The investigation into Meghan’s alleged bullying of palace aides is still ongoing, though it was recently revealed that the two staff members at the center of the scandal recanted their complaints.
In court, Knauf explained that Meghan was considering her options on how to handle her father’s very public antics “both for concerns about his welfare and also to protect her reputation.” He went on to state that she landed on writing a letter that “might convince him to stop giving interviews, but that could also set the record straight if he gave them to the media.”
Meghan Uses “Daddy” To “Pull At The Heartstrings”
Knauf claimed that Meghan asked him to review the text of the letter in order to see if anything stood out as a “liability.” He continued, “She also asked a specific question regarding addressing Mr. Markle as ‘daddy’ in the letter, saying ‘given I’ve only ever called him daddy it may make sense to open as such (despite him being less than paternal), and in the unfortunate event that it leaked it would pull at the heartstrings.’”
There were other obvious ways that the Duchess of Sussex was aware of the possibility of the letter’s inevitable leak, Knauf said, including the fact that she’d “deliberately ended each page partway through a sentence so that no page could be falsely presented as the end of the letter.” After writing the letter, Knauf said Meghan told him she felt “fantastic,” adding, “if he leaks it then that’s on his conscious (sic) but at least the world will know the truth. Words I could never voice publicly.”
Her Explanation For The Calculated Letter
Meghan refuted the narrative that she thought it likely that her father would leak the letter in written evidence sent to the Court of Appeal, though she admitted she’d prepared for the possibility. While anything was possible, Meghan wrote, “I did not think that my father would sell or leak the letter, primarily because it would not put him in a good light.”
She continued, “The main purpose of the letter was to encourage my father to stop talking to the press. To be clear, I did not want any of it to be published, and wanted to ensure that the risk of it being manipulated or misleadingly edited was minimised, were it to be exploited.”
This case is going back to court to be decided before the Court of Appeals and it’ll be interesting, to say the least, to see what the ultimate decision is. As the case plays out, more information will likely make its way to the public. We’ll continue to follow along.