London – Prince Harry “pleaded” with Meghan’s father to accept their help in the fraught days before their wedding, new court papers claim.
He wrote a text message to Thomas Markle saying: “If * love Meg and want to make it right please call me.”
Previously unseen messages from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex cast new light on the breakdown in Meghan’s relationship with her father and she effectively calls him a liar.
In one message, Harry – calling the father-in-law he has never met Tom – told him: “Speaking to the press WILL backfire, trust me Tom. Only we can help *.”
It comes ahead of an extraordinary High Court case dubbed ‘Markle vs Markle’ in which the duchess’s estranged father, 75, is prepared to give evidence against his own daughter. No date has been set for the case, but a preliminary hearing is scheduled for this Friday.
She has launched legal action against the Mail on Sunday, the Daily Mail’s sister paper, accusing it of breaching her privacy and her copyright by publishing extracts of a five-page letter she wrote to her father in August 2018.
But Mr Markle – expected to be called as a key witness – only revealed the letter after her friends gave interviews about it to the US magazine People, and only did so to show the world it was not the ‘loving’ plea her friends had been making out, the newspaper has said.
Lawyers for the newspaper alleged that Meghan had “knowingly” allowed her friends to leak details of the letter to the US magazine People – that she had effectively helped to breach her own privacy.
Meghan could face father in court over publication of letter
A British newspaper which is being sued by Meghan, Britain’s Duchess of Sussex, will use evidence from her father Thomas Markle, in a court battle over its publication of a private letter from the royal to him, it has said in legal documents.
Mr Markle had also made desperate attempts to mend their relationship after heart surgery forced him to miss the 2018 royal wedding, it was said.
On Monday, her legal team filed papers setting out her version of events, and detailing messages she and Harry had sent her father. She admits five of her closest friends talked to People, but said it was without her knowledge – and she was ‘distressed’ they mentioned the letter. She also claims she did not receive his texts after the wedding “reaching out to you”.
The papers submitted today by the duchess’ legal team also state: “Mr Markle did not answer truthfully when asked about the photographs taken and staged by a paparazzo photographer…”
Some of Mr Markle’s messages to his daughter were detailed in defence papers filed in January at the High Court in London by the Mail on Sunday. The documents said that after Mr Markle messaged his daughter saying he couldn’t come to her wedding because he had been taken to hospital for emergency heart surgery, he received a text from Harry ‘admonishing’ him for talking to the Press. Sent on May 16, the same day as his operation, the text from Harry did not ask how Mr Markle was, the newspaper’s legal document said. It said Mr Markle was deeply hurt and responded: “I’m sorry my heart attack is … any inconvenience for you”.
The Mail on Sunday’s case is that she effectively breached her own privacy because Mr Markle had kept his daughter’s handwritten note private for months, and only revealed it to expose false claims that the duchess had been reaching out to repair the relationship. Meghan “knowingly” allowed five close friends to leak details of the letter to People magazine to attack her father, the newspaper’s document stated.
The result was a “one-sided” interview published on February 6, 2019, in the celebrity weekly headlined: “Her best friends break their silence” and “The truth about Meghan”.
The defence papers said: “Thomas Markle only released Meghan’s letter to the world to show it was not the “loving” plea her friends had been making out.”
By Sam Greenhill Chief Reporter