Meghan Markle’s legal team spoke about court documents of the “deeply painful process” the Duchess of Sussex went through while creating a letter addressed to her estranged father, which is in response to claims in previously-filed court documents by Associated Newspapers in respect to the letter sent to Thomas Markle Snr in August 2018.
The publisher of the Mail on Sunday, Daily Mail and MailOnline in papers earlier this month lodged with London’s High Court that Jason Knauf “and/or others in the Kensington Palace Communications team contributed to the writing of the electronic draft.”
While debunking the claim, Meghan’s lawyers said the Duchess was living through a “painful process”. They said in documents filed yesterday that she “shared a draft of that Draft with her husband and Mr Knauf for support, as this was a deeply painful process that they lived through with her.”
While trying to clarify that the Duchess of Sussex was the sole creator of the letter, her lawyers added, “In the course of a discussion between them, Mr Knauf provided feedback on that draft but no actual wording, as this was a personal letter from a daughter to father.
“The comments Mr Knauf provided were in the form of ‘general ideas’ as opposed to actual wording.”
Mr Knauf was the communications secretary for both the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during the summer of 2018 and now the royal aide is working at Kate and Prince William’s Royal Foundation.
The Associated Newspapers are claiming that the letter sent to Mr Markle by Meghan is not subject to any copyright protection as it was not her “intellectual creation”, since it was copied from an electronic draft and had received the input of Kensington Palace aides.
Meghan’s lawyers earlier this month told the court that the former actress drafted the letter on the Notes application on her iPhone before copying it by hand and making minor changes.
Then in yesterday’s filing, Meghan’s lawyers said, “For the avoidance of doubt neither Mr Knauf (nor anybody else) created any part of the Electronic Draft or the Letter. The Claimant, and the Claimant alone, created the Electronic Draft, which she then transcribed by hand to her father as the Letter.”
Meghan Markle is suing the publisher of the Mail on Sunday, Daily Mail and MailOnline after its Sunday paper published in February 2019 extracts of a letter she sent to her father during the summer of 2018.
Meghan is seeking damages from the publisher for misuse of private information, copyright infringement and breach of the Data Protection Act. Although Associated Newspapers have denied the allegations, particularly the Duchess’ claim that the letter was edited in any way that changed its meaning, and says it will surely contest the case.
The trial date had been provisionally set for January 11, 2021, after Meghan’s legal team successfully requested for a postponement in late October giving a “confidential ground”.