Meghan Markle
Credit: Chris Jackson – Pool/Getty Images

In February, Meghan Markle won a privacy and copyright infringement case against Associated Newspapers Limited for publishing excerpts of a letter she wrote to her estranged father in the British tabloid, The Mail on Sunday. At the time judge Mark Warby argued that Markle “had a reasonable expectation that the contents of the letter would remain private. The Mail articles interfered with that reasonable expectation.”

The company is now appealing against the summary judgement. Overnight the legal team filed a new witness statement from the Duchess of Sussex’s former Communications Secretary Jason Knauf who claims Markle drafted the letter with “the understanding that it could be leaked”.

“The Duchess wanted to make sure that if the letter became public it would assist with setting out her perspective on the problems with her father’s behaviour,” Knauf said (per a report from Town & Country Magazine). “In the messages on 24 August she said she felt ‘fantastic; after writing it and added that: ‘And if he leaks it then that’s on his conscious(sic) but at least the world will know the truth. Words I could never voice publicly.’”

He continued, “Given Mr Markle’s increasing cooperation with reporters and photographers the Duchess had lost confidence that the privacy of her communication with her father would be respected by him.” Knauf added that Markle “explored options for written communication that might convince him to stop giving interviews, but that could also set the record straight if he gave them to the media.”

The former PR also explained that “wanted to write a letter rather than an email or text message as a letter could not be forwarded or cut and pasted to only share one small portion.”

In response, Markle’s legal team have requested that the appeal be dismissed and accused ANL of attempting to “muddy the waters, and to generate a proliferation of factual issues which it relies upon as justifying a trial.”

In March, the High Court ordered ANL to pay the Duchess of Sussex 90 percent of her estimated $1.88 million in legal expenses. In May after Markle won another copyright claim, the company was forced to pay the remaining 10 percent.

Knauf added that he wanted to maintain a “position of neutrality” in the case. The appeal will be heard over the course of three days. Stay tuned for further developments.

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