In new court documents filed by the publication, and obtained by the BBC and The Telegraph, the Mail on Sunday claims Meghan sent her father, Thomas Markle, the emotional letter knowing that it might become public at a later date.
For those who don’t recall, the Mail on Sunday published parts of a letter Meghan sent to her estranged father following his absence at her wedding. In her communications with her father, she shared her distress over his decisions and his perceived lack of support for her marriage to the Prince. This would later become public knowledge when her father shared it with the Mail on Sunday in what he would later describe as an attempt to “defend” himself.
When the lawsuit was later launched against the tabloid, Thomas Markle and Mail on Sunday claimed they published the letter in his defense, since it had already been mentioned in a People magazine article. The Mail on Sunday claims, according to The Telegraph, that Meghan’s friends allegedly “depicted Mr Markle as having acted unreasonably and unlovingly, having cold-shouldered his daughter and being solely to blame for the estrangement.”
Mail on Sunday added in the court documents, “The Claimant’s privacy rights do not extend to silencing her father.”
The Mail on Sunday then went a step further by alleging Meghan knew the letter would be shared with the rest of the world. They cite Meghan’s thoughtful and eloquent writing as evidence she knew it would be published, rather than being an expression of emotions. “The Letter appears to have been immaculately copied out by the Claimant in her own elaborate handwriting from a previous draft. There are no crossings-out or amendments as there usually are with a spontaneous draft,” the outlet alleges. “It is to be inferred also from the care the Claimant took over the presentation of the letter that she anticipated it being disclosed to and read by third parties.”
To add insult to injury they allege Meghan desired the letter’s release. The outlet claims, “It [the Letter] rehearses the Claimant’s version of the history of her relationship with her father and her family in a way that strongly suggests the Claimant wanted or expected third parties to read it.”
The publication further defends their actions by claiming the letter is Thomas’ property and he can do with it as he wishes.
They also allege Meghan’s friend Jessica Mulroney was one of the close friends who spoke to People about Thomas’ betrayal. According to The Telegraph, the Mail on Sunday claims Jessica spoke to the magazine “to try to ensure that a more favourable article was published” because the Sussex’s had learned of the Mail on Sunday‘s intentions to publish the letter and interview with Markle.
To top it all off, the Mail on Sunday claims Meghan has no right to contest the letter’s publication since she’s a member of the Royal Family, who “rely on publicity about themselves and their lives in order to maintain the privileged positions they hold and promote themselves.”
Meghan and Harry have yet to release a statement on the newest development, but as Harry previously stated in a press release, they will fight for accountability and fair treatment. “I’ve seen what happens when someone I love is commoditised to the point that they are no longer treated or seen as a real person,” he stated. “I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces.”
At the time a spokesperson for The Mail on Sunday told E! News in a statement, “The Mail on Sunday stands by the story it published and will be defending this case vigorously. Specifically, we categorically deny that the Duchess’ letter was edited in any way that changed its meaning.”