“ANGUISHED” Meghan Markle felt forced to write a “unpleasant” letter to her dad after they reached “snapping point”, the High Court heard today.
The Duchess of Sussex, 39, is taking legal action against the Mail on Sunday for privacy copyright and information defense over 5 posts published in February 2019.
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Meghan Markle has actually introduced a quote to swerve a high-profile trial
Attorneys for the Duchess today informed the High Court the publication of the “inherently personal, delicate and personal” letter was a “triple-barrelled intrusion of her privacy rights”.
He said Meghan having a “worry” her letter might be obstructed revealed she “must, at the minimum, have appreciated that her father might pick to reveal it”.
Mr Rushbrooke said: “It was written, in brief, by daughter who felt she had reached a breaking point with her dad.”
Lawyers for Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL) claim it was written “to protect her against charges of being an unloving or uncaring child”.
Justin Rushbrooke QC described the 1,250-word letter as “a heartfelt plea from an anguished child to her daddy”.
Antony White QC argued “there is a really genuine question regarding whether the claimant will be able to establish that she had a reasonable – or any – expectation of personal privacy”.
This consists of extracts from a handwritten letter she sent to her papa Thomas Markle, 76, in August 2018.
The lawyer told the court Meghan had sent it to Thomas Markle “at his home in Mexico by means of a trusted contact … to decrease the danger of interception”.
The papers add: “It is a heartfelt plea from an anguished daughter to her father (the word pain or uncomfortable appears no fewer than five times), pleading him to stop talking with the press.”
The last line – included in court documents – read: “I request absolutely nothing other than peace and I wish the very same for you.”
He explained its subsequent publication as a “severe and plain invasion” of personal privacy.
He said it was not “a vicious or baseless attack” on her father but was rather “a message of peace”.
GRASP THE NETTLE
The barrister informed the court that ANLs defence raised “a troubling concern about who has the right of control over the contents of a personal letter”.
Mr Rushbrooke argued the publication of the letter breached the duchesss right to “regard for her correspondence”, as well as her right to “her private and her household life”.
Mr Rushbrooke added: “Is it the writer of the letter or the editor of the Mail on Sunday?”
This was contested by ANL, who say Jason Knauf – ex-communications secretary to Harry and Meghan – had “involvement” in writing it.
Both Thomas Markle and Meghan could take to the stand in the prominent trial if the case goes ahead.
He continued: “There can just be one response to that concern and the answer would be the same irrespective of whether the writer of the letter is a duchess or any other resident, and the answer is it is not the editor of the Mail on Sunday.”
He argued the letter was “an original literary work in which copyright subsists and is owned by the complaintant” and asked the court to “understand the nettle and choose the problem at this hearing”.
In return, a bid to name 5 of Meghans buddies who provided an anonymous interview to People publication were dismissed in August.
It was due to be heard at the High Court this month but was adjourned for nine months due to a “personal” reason.
In a witness declaration formerly read before the court, Thomas said: “I am a realist and I might die tomorrow.
Mr White declared there is a “genuine prospect” the Duchess “will fail to develop she was the sole author in the copyright sense”.
Ian Mill QC, also representing the Duchess, argued “she and she alone” developed a draft of the letter to her daddy “which she then transcribed by hand” in concerns to her copyright claim.
Meghans legal representatives also made an application for a “summary judgment” to be bied far, which would swerve the requirement for a trial and witnesses.
” The quicker this case takes place the much better.”
The lawyer included: “No genuinely private letter from child to dad would require any input from the Kensington Palace interactions group.”
A string of pre-trial skirmishes have actually emerged in the build-up – including Meghans claims ANL had an “program” of releasing invasive or offensive stories about her being started out as “unimportant” last May.
The hit case – among numerous brought just recently by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex versus media organisations – was submitted by Meghans attorneys in September 2019.
ANL state the facts of the case can just be identified by a trial.
Top judges at the High Court in London will now choose whether to push on or pick Meghans claims now.
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ANL claimed the Duchess had “compromised” any expectation of personal privacy in relation to the letter by allowing details of her personal life to be published in the bio.
The remote hearing prior to Mr Justice Warby, which is expected to last 2 days, continues.
But in an astonishing move, the MoS was allowed to rely on the unauthorised bio of Harry and Meghan, Finding Freedom by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, in its defence.
If the case goes ahead, both Meghan and her father Thomas would require to the stand
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