4 of Meghan Markle and Prince Harrys former aides might have evidence which might “shed some light” on the duchess handwritten letter to her estranged father, the High Court has been told.
In a letter checked out in court, the attorneys stated the “Palace Four” are “strictly neutral”, in the middle of the possibility that they might be called to affirm at a trial, and are prepared to give evidence in court.
The so-called “Palace Four” – Jason Knauf, Christian Jones, Samantha Cohen and Sara Latham – might understand whether Meghan anticipated the letter to be leaked or gave private details to the authors of Finding Freedom, their lawyers say.
Meghan denies dripping the letter.
The Duchess of Sussex, 39, is suing the publisher of The Mail On Sunday and MailOnline over five posts in February 2019 which recreated “comprehensive extracts” from the handwritten letter sent to 76-year-old Thomas Markle.
Meghan Markle and her dad Thomas are now separated
” The court is not informed what that light might be. This is far from information that will support the accuseds case.
” This is particularly the case given the level of sensitivity of, and for that reason discretion required in, their specific roles in the Royal Household.”.
On the 2nd day of the hearing on Wednesday, ANLs lawyer Antony White QC informed the court that a letter from legal representatives representing the so-called “Palace Four” said they would have the ability to “shed some light” on the preparing of Meghans letter to her dad.
It also said they may be able to clarify “whether the claimant anticipated that the letter might enter in the general public domain” and whether or not Meghan “directly or indirectly supplied personal details, generally and in relation to the letter particularly, to the authors of Finding Freedom”.
He informed the court it was also “most likely” there was additional evidence about whether Meghan “straight or indirectly supplied private information” to the authors of an unauthorised biography of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Finding Freedom.
He added that the summary judgment application ought to be dismissed since “the evidential photo at trial is likely to be extremely different from the one currently before the court”.
The letter continued that their lawyers “preliminary view is that a person or more of our clients would remain in a position to shed some light” on “the creation of the letter and the electronic draft”.
Mr Rushbrooke added: “The only details that has been supplied is that a person or more of the Palace Four could shed some light on the production of the letter and the electronic draft.
The letter was sent out to the parties on behalf of Jason Knauf – formerly interactions secretary to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, whom ANL “believes was involved” in the phrasing of Meghans letter – and Christian Jones, their former deputy communications secretary.
The other two members of the so-called “Palace Four” are Samantha Cohen, formerly the Sussexes personal secretary, and Sara Latham, their former director of communications.
It added: “Nor does any of our clients want to take sides in the conflict in between your respective customers. Our customers are all strictly neutral.
Meghans lawyers state the publication of the letter was “self-evidently … highly intrusive”, explaining it as “a triple-barrelled intrusion of her personal privacy rights”.
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Meghan is seeking damages from ANL for supposed abuse of private information, copyright infringement and breach of the Data Protection Act, and says ANL has “no possibility” of safeguarding her privacy and copyright claims.
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The duchess sent out the “genuine” five-page letter to her dads home in Mexico “by means of a relied on contact” in August 2018 in order to “reduce the threat of interception”, the High Court has previously heard.
” They have no interest in helping either party to the proceedings. Their only interest remains in ensuring a level playing field, insofar as any proof they might be able to provide is worried.”.
Parts of the letter to Mr Markle were replicated in newspaper and online posts.
( Image: X80001).
The remote hearing before Mr Justice Warby is due to conclude on Wednesday afternoon and it is expected he will book his judgment.
Her lawyers have actually used for “summary judgment”, a legal step which would see those parts of the case solved without a trial, however ANL argues the case is “completely unsuitable for summary judgment”.
ANL declares Meghan composed the letter “with a view to it being divulged publicly at some future point” in order to “defend her against charges of being an unloving or unconcerned daughter”, which she rejects.
Meghan, 39, is taking legal action against the publisher of The Mail On Sunday and MailOnline over 5 short articles
( Image: Getty Images).
Justin Rushbrooke QC, representing the duchess, said in composed submissions that the letter from the Palace Four “includes no information at all that supports the offenders case on supposed co-authorship (of Meghans letter), and no indication that proof will be forthcoming that will support the offenders case must the matter continue to trial”.
” It is equally consistent with the Palace Four supporting the complaintants case by confirming that none of them had any involvement in the development of the letter or the electronic draft and/or that Jason Knauf offered feedback on a draft of the electronic draft however no real phrasing.”.
Mr White said that letter showed that “additional oral proof and documentary proof is most likely to be readily available at trial which would shed light on specific essential accurate problems in this case”.
In the letter sent on their behalf, their attorneys said: “None of our customers invites his or her possible participation in this litigation, which has occurred simply as a result of the performance of his/her duties in their respective tasks at the product time.
The complete trial of the duchesss claim was because of be heard at the High Court this month, but in 2015 the case was adjourned until fall 2021 for a “personal” factor.