The Duchess of Sussex’s barristers and the Daily Mail’s barristers were in court again this week for another… something. I guess it was the equivalent of a pre-trial hearing, and there also seem to be some depositions floating around. Each and every update I read about this case drives me further and further off the deep end. I honestly cannot understand the logic behind the arguments being made by the Mail. I guess they’re really just throwing everything against the wall and seeing what argument “works.” Their latest argument is that they had every right to publish Meghan’s letter to her father (and misrepresent that letter) because… Finding Freedom, a book published roughly 18 months after the Mail published Meghan’s letter! That’s it. That’s the argument. The Mail’s coverage is all over the place and they fail to even make THEIR OWN CASE sound logical. Oh, and they say Meghan plans to be in town to testify in the trial, which is scheduled to begin on January 11th (a ten-day trial). So maybe that will be her first time back to that pile of colonialist bones.
Meghan Markle 39, is suing the newspaper, it breached her ‘deepest and most private thoughts and feelings’. But the publisher’s lawyers said it was ‘difficult to see’ how she could complain about that, if she and Harry had helped with Finding Freedom which exposed their private thoughts and feelings. At a preliminary hearing, Antony White QC said in written submissions the biography ‘gives every appearance of having been written with their extensive co-operation’.
He added: ‘The book contains a great deal of detailed information about [Meghan’s] personal life, including a number of passages referring to her relationship and communications with her father, and a section referring to the letter which is at the heart of this case.’ The newspaper alleged Meghan, either directly or through friends, allowed the bombshell book to use intimate details to paint a ‘favourable’ picture of her life. He added that Meghan has previously stated she had disclosed the contents of the letter to the Kensington Palace communications team and she has also stated that she discussed it with them prior to it being sent.
Meghan’s lawyers have denied that she co-operated with authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand on ‘Finding Freedom,’ which was published in August, and said that any reference to her letter in the book were simply ‘extracts from the letter lifted from the defendant’s own articles’. They also deny that she used her friends to influence press and public opinion. In a written submission, Justin Rushbrooke QC said: ‘The claimant and her husband did not collaborate with the authors on the book, nor were they interviewed for it, nor did they provide photographs to the authors for the book.’
He added that neither Meghan nor Harry to spoke to Mr Scobie or Ms Durand, who he said, ‘were not given the impression that the claimant wanted the contents of the letter to be reproduced in the book’.
Mr Scobie has also submitted a witness statement to the High Court as part of the Duchess’ case – in which he denied allegations that Meghan had helped with the book. He insisted that he has spoken to both the Duke and Duchess ‘on occasions in the past,’ in his role as a royal correspondent – but ‘never about the book.’ Mr White QC challenged that assertion and said that he wanted to ‘test’ Mr Scobie’s evidence in cross-examination, when the full trial takes place next year.
He argued that the newspaper should now be allowed to file an amendment to its defence because the book contains descriptions of her ‘relationship and communication with her father,’ with her approval. He said that Meghan had ’caused or permitted information to be provided to the authors and co-operated with them – including by giving or permitting them to be given information about the letter’.
I told you it was insane. The Mail’s legal argument really is “we had every right to publish this private letter because… a year after the publication of the letter, details about the letter appeared in Finding Freedom!” It makes no sense. And whether or not Meghan in any way participated in FF has zero to do with this case either. The Mail is just trying to trap her, drag her and create content and clickbait about her.
I’m also super-curious about the fact that Meghan spoke about the letter to people at Kensington Palace. Did that happen after the fact? Was she telling her media team that she wrote a letter to Toxic Tom and he continued to lie about her? Again, that has little to do with the actual lawsuit, but it is interesting.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.