Meghan Markle is suing the Mail on Sunday and its parent company Associated Newspapers, accusing it of unlawfully publishing a private letter she wrote to her father Thomas Markle in the weeks before to her wedding to Prince Harry.
Lawyers for Meghan allege infringement of copyright, misuse of private information and breach of the Data Protection Act 2018 in publishing the letter. The Mail on Sunday rejects each claim.
High court documents have revealed the detailed of this legal battle, and it has emerged that her estranged father could testify against her if the case should go to trial.
As we wait to see the outcome of this legal action, here’s what we know about what the letter said…
What is in Meghan Markle’s letter to Thomas Markle?
Last February, the Mail on Sunday published extracts of Meghan’s handwritten letter to her father.
Mr Markle was embroiled in controversy in the run-up to his daughter’s 2018 wedding after he was said to have staged paparazzi photographs of himself before commenting regularly to entertainment website TMZ about his interactions with Meghan.
In one extract of the letter, published by the Mail on Sunday, the duchess wrote: ‘Your actions have broken my heart into a million pieces – not simply because you have manufactured such unnecessary and unwarranted pain, but by making the choice to not tell the truth as you are puppeteered in this. Something I will never understand.’
According to the Daily Mail, the letter Meghan wrote in 2018 also said: ‘You’ve told the Press that you called me to say you weren’t coming to the wedding – that didn’t happen because you never called.’
She accused him of ignoring her attempts to reach out in the days before the wedding, saying: ‘From my phone alone, I called you over 20 times and you ignored my calls… leaving me in the days before our wedding worried, confused, shocked and absolutely blindsided.’
October, when the legal action was announced, Prince Harry claimed the alleged unlawful publication of the private letter was done in ‘an intentionally destructive manner’ to ‘manipulate’ readers.
A spokeswoman for law firm Schillings claimed in a statement released at the time that the ‘intrusive’ publication of the letter was part of Associated Newspaper’s campaign to produce ‘false and deliberately derogatory stories about’ Meghan, ‘as well as her husband’.
However, the paper denied editing the letter to change its meaning and said it would stand by the story.
The Mail on Sunday argues that there was a ‘legitimate public interest’ in publishing the letter the Duchess of Sussex wrote to her father.
High Court documents, seen by the BBC, suggest the paper will claim Meghan Markle and other members of the Royal Family ‘rely on publicity about themselves and their lives to maintain the privileged positions they hold’.
In its legal defence, the paper also argues the duchess ‘did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy that the contents of the letter were private and would remain so’.
This comes after Meghan and her husband announced their plans to ‘step back’ as senior royals.
Their statement announcing this choice read: ‘After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution.
‘We intend to step back as “senior” members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen.’
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