Meghan’s dad ‘gave her let­ter to news­pa­per ... af­ter she let friends make false claims to U.S. mag­a­zine’

Scottish Daily Mail - - Markle Vs Markle - By Sam Green­hill Chief Re­porter

THOMAS Markle re­leased a let­ter from his daugh­ter Meghan to the world to show it was not the ‘lov­ing’ plea her friends had been making out, court doc­u­ments said yes­ter­day.

He kept her hand­writ­ten note pri­vate for months, and only re­vealed it to ex­pose ‘false’ claims that the duchess had been try­ing to re­pair their re­la­tion­ship.

The let­ter – from Au­gust 2018 in the wake of her wed­ding to Prince Harry – was an ‘at­tack’ on Mr Markle and sig­nalled the ‘end of the re­la­tion­ship’ be­tween fa­ther and daugh­ter, the court pa­pers said.

Ac­cord­ing to de­fence pa­pers filed at the High Court yes­ter­day on be­half of The Mail on Sun­day, the Duchess of Sus­sex’s es­tranged fa­ther only de­cided to re­lease ex­tracts of the let­ter to the Press af­ter she had al­lowed her friends to talk about it first.

The news­pa­per’s doc­u­ments stated that Meghan ‘know­ingly’ al­lowed her friends to leak de­tails of the let­ter to the me­dia. She ‘caused or per­mit­ted’ five close friends to speak anony­mously to the US mag­a­zine Peo­ple to at­tack Thomas Markle, the court pa­pers said.

The re­sult was a bomb­shell in­ter­view pub­lished on Fe­bru­ary 6, 2019, in the celebrity weekly head­lined: ‘Her best friends break their si­lence’ and ‘The truth about Meghan’.

It quoted the Duchess of Sus­sex’s friends say­ing she had writ­ten an im­pas­sioned plea to her es­tranged fa­ther to stop ‘vic­tim­is­ing’ her in the me­dia. They said she had been so up­set by his re­peated pub­lic at­tacks on her and Prince Harry that she had sent the let­ter beg­ging him to sort out their dif­fer­ences pri­vately.

The Peo­ple in­ter­view said Meghan had writ­ten to Mr Markle: ‘Dad, I’m

‘En­ti­tled to set the record straight’

so heart­bro­ken, I love you, I have one fa­ther. Please stop vic­tim­is­ing me through the me­dia so we can re­pair our re­la­tion­ship.’

But this ar­ti­cle gave a ‘one-sided’ and ‘false’ ac­count of the sit­u­a­tion and of her let­ter, yes­ter­day’s de­fence pa­pers said.

Far from be­ing ‘a lov­ing let­ter aimed at re­pair­ing their re­la­tion­ship… her let­ter was an at­tack on Mr Markle. Amongst other things, she ac­cused him of break­ing her heart, man­u­fac­tur­ing pain, be­ing para­noid, be­ing ridiculed, fab­ri­cat­ing sto­ries, of at­tack­ing Prince Harry and con­tin­u­ally ly­ing’.

Among the false claims, it was wrongly said that Mr Markle had re­fused to get in the air­port car to at­tend the royal wed­ding, ac­cord­ing to the court pa­pers.

The Peo­ple in­ter­view also said Mr Markle had ‘never called... never texted’, and that he had falsely claimed he could not reach his daugh­ter. This was, ac­cord­ing to The Mail on Sun­day’s de­fence, un­true.

Fol­low­ing the wed­ding, Mr Markle had tried to con­tact Meghan by phone and text, but had re­ceived no re­sponse un­til the let­ter, it was said.

‘Ex­cept for the re­ceipt of the let­ter, Mr Markle had not heard from his daugh­ter since he wrote to tell her he was too ill to at­tend her wed­ding, nor has he ever been in­tro­duced to or met Prince Harry or their son, his grand­son,’ the de­fence document said.

Mr Markle was there­fore en­ti­tled to set the record straight by al­low­ing the Bri­tish news­pa­per to pub­lish ex­tracts of the let­ter four days later, said the de­fence document, which added that he re­leased it ‘in di­rect re­sponse to the pub­li­ca­tion of the Peo­ple in­ter­view’. It said: ‘Thomas Markle had a weighty right to tell his ver­sion of what had hap­pened be­tween him­self and his daugh­ter in­clud­ing the con­tents of the let­ter. She did not sug­gest that they try to re­pair their re­la­tion­ship.

‘On the con­trary, the fi­nal words of the let­ter, “I ask for noth­ing other than peace, and I wish the same for you” sug­gested that their re­la­tion­ship was at an end, and Mr Markle un­der­stood those words to sig­nal the end of the re­la­tion­ship.’

The court fil­ing in­sisted the Duchess of Sus­sex had never de­nied that she gave her con­sent to Peo­ple mag­a­zine’s five sources, de­scribed by the weekly – which has 40mil­lion readers in the US alone – as an ‘in­tensely loyal cir­cle of close friends’. The de­fence document said that Meghan ‘know­ingly caused or per­mit­ted in­for­ma­tion’ about her re­la­tion­ship with her fa­ther and a de­scrip­tion of the let­ter’s con­tents to en­ter the pub­lic do­main.

The mean­ing and ef­fect of the ‘onesided and/or mis­lead­ing’ ac­count in the Peo­ple ‘was to sug­gest Mr Markle had made false claims about his deal­ings with his daugh­ter’.

The Mail on Sun­day’s de­fence also said: ‘The Peo­ple in­ter­view stated that Mr Markle had re­sponded to the let­ter with a let­ter of his own in which he asked for a “photo op” with [Meghan], with the im­plicit sug­ges­tion that he was seek­ing to make money from a pho­to­graph of him with [her]. This was false.

‘Mr Markle had in fact writ­ten, “I wish we could get to­gether and take a photo for the whole world to see. If you and Harry don’t like me? Fake it for one photo and maybe some of the Press will fi­nally shut up!”. None of Mr Markle’s ac­count of events or feel­ings about those events was men­tioned in the Peo­ple in­ter­view.’

The de­fence lawyers said it was ap­par­ent from Meghan’s neat hand­writ­ing and immaculate pre­sen­ta­tion of the let­ter that she an­tic­i­pated it be­ing read by oth­ers or pos­si­bly dis­closed to the me­dia.

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