White said a letter from attorneys representing the “Palace Four” indicated they would be able to “shed some light” on the drafting. The 4 are Jason Knauf, the then communications secretary to the royal couple, whom ANL thinks “was involved” in the wording of the letter; the previous interactions personnel members Christian Jones and Sara Latham; and the former personal secretary Samantha Cohen.The letter from lawyers on behalf of the 4, sent out to the legal teams of both celebrations, said none of them invited involvement in the case, which had emerged only as an outcome of duties in their respective jobs at the product time. The letter went on to say it was their lawyers preliminary view “that one or more of our clients would be in a position to shed some light” on “the production of the letter and the electronic draft”. They may also be able to shed light on “whether or not the claimant prepared for that the letter might come into the public domain”, and whether or not Meghan “directly or indirectly supplied private info” to the authors of the unauthorised biography of the couple, Finding Freedom.Justin Rushbrooke QC, for Meghan, stated in written submissions that the letter from the so-called Palace Four contained no information that supported ANLs claims that Knauf co-authored the letter at the centre of the disagreement. Meghans case is that Knauf provided feedback on a draft however no wording.
Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex
Ex-employees of royal couple might clarify preparing of letter to Thomas Markle, high court hears
Four former staff members of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex could have evidence clarifying the scenarios of Meghans letter to her separated dad, the high court has heard.Any role of the so-called “Palace Four” required even more investigation, and was one of the reasons the duchesss personal privacy action versus the Mail on Sunday must proceed to a complete trial, the newspapers publishers argued.Meghan, 39, is taking legal action against Associated Newspapers Ltd (ANL) over publication of extracts from her 2018 personal letter to Thomas Markle, 76, recreated in February 2019 in 5 articles in the Mail on Sunday and Mail Online.
Her legal representatives are looking for “summary judgment”, which would see part of her personal privacy case dealt with without a trial, and argue that the judge, Mr Justice Warby, ought to find in her favour as ANL has no real possibility of success.On the second day of the hearing, Antony White QC, for ANL, stated “oral proof and documentary proof is most likely to be available at trial which would clarify specific essential elements in the case”. One concern was the circumstances in which the letter was prepared, “which we now understand involved the Kensington Palace communications group, a curious function for an entirely private letter”, he informed the judge.ANL claims Meghan intended the letter to be used as part of a “media technique”, which the duchess has rejected.
White said a letter from attorneys representing the “Palace Four” showed they would be able to “shed some light” on the preparing. The 4 are Jason Knauf, the then interactions secretary to the royal couple, whom ANL believes “was involved” in the wording of the letter; the former interactions personnel members Christian Jones and Sara Latham; and the previous personal secretary Samantha Cohen.The letter from legal representatives on behalf of the four, sent to the legal teams of both parties, stated none invited involvement in the event, which had actually arisen only as a result of duties in their respective tasks at the material time. “Nor does any of our clients wish to take sides in the disagreement in between your respective customers. Our customers are all strictly neutral,” it said.”They have no interest in helping either celebration to the proceedings. Their only interest is in making sure a level playing field, insofar as any evidence they may be able to provide is concerned.” They would supply assistance to the court if they could, it said.
The letter went on to say it was their lawyers preliminary view “that a person or more of our customers would remain in a position to shed some light” on “the development of the letter and the electronic draft”. They might also be able to clarify “whether or not the claimant expected that the letter might come into the general public domain”, and whether or not Meghan “directly or indirectly supplied private info” to the authors of the unauthorised bio of the couple, Finding Freedom.Justin Rushbrooke QC, for Meghan, stated in composed submissions that the letter from the so-called Palace Four included no info that supported ANLs claims that Knauf co-authored the letter at the centre of the dispute. Meghans case is that Knauf supplied feedback on no phrasing however a draft.
Meghan is seeking damages from ANL for supposed misuse of private info, copyright infringement and breach of the Data Protection Act.The judge is expected to deliver his judgment on her application for summary judgment at a later date.
Wed 20 Jan 2021 14.47 GMT