Meghan Markle apologized to the Court of Appeals yesterday for failing to remember telling a royal aide to inform the authors of the Finding Freedom biography.
The Duchess of Sussex, who previously insisted that she and Prince Harry not work with the two authors of the exuberant book, said she “forgot” to provide the advisor’s details “if you sit down with them”.
It emerged yesterday that she emailed Jason Knauf, her then communications secretary, a detailed briefing note on December 10, 2018, including some “helpful” background “reminders” about her estranged family and her version of the Events of a tiara incident involving the queen.
Through her lawyers, the Duchess has previously vigorously denied that she and Harry provided the authors of a “relentlessly flattering” biography with information.
But she withdrew after an intervention by Mr. Knauf, who made a statement in court: “The book was discussed several times personally and by email directly with the Duchess. The Duke and Duchess approved a specific collaboration in writing in December 2018. “
The Duchess of Sussex, who previously insisted that she and Prince Harry (pictured together) not work with the two authors of the exuberant book, said she “forgot” to give the advisor’s details “when you sit down” you ‘
In response, Meghan said in a written statement to the judges: “In view of the information and documents that Mr. Knauf has made available, I accept that Mr. Knauf has provided the authors of the book with some information and that he did so with my knowledge . ‘
The details Meghan Markle shared
Among the information the Duchess of Sussex made available to her press officer Jason Knauf to “share” with the authors of Finding Freedom, which was issued in court, she wrote (in the third person):
YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH HALF-SISTERS
“They were teenagers when they moved into their parents’ house before Meghan was born. Doria left Tom when Meghan was two years old. His other children were 15 and 17 years old. Tom Jr and Samantha dropped out of high school and moved out of their father’s house that year. ‘ “Meghan saw her a couple of times when she was under 5, then again when she was 11.” “Meghan has never had a relationship with either of them; Both of her parents always referred to her as an only child … because the half-siblings were not in the picture (of their own choosing). ‘
RELATIONSHIP WITH FATHER
“They were close for most of their lives. Meghan supported her father despite his seclusion … the media pressure made him crumble and he began to sign press deals brokered by his daughter Samantha. ‘ “Despite myriad efforts to support him over the past two years, they are no longer in a relationship.”
ON THE MOVE TO WINDSOR
‘Apartment 1 [Kensington Palace] would not be ready until 2021, as the family grows they will need space sooner. The Queen offered Windsor, which the couple gratefully accepted. ‘
ON HARRY’S DECLARATION 2016 CONDEMNATION OF THE GIRLFRIEND’S “ABUSED” PRESS
“Very turbulent time … Meghan lived and worked alone in Toronto and her house was flooded with paparazzi and journalists … the police were called many times;” It was decided to draw a line in the sand. ‘
The Mail on Sunday – the Daily Mail’s sister newspaper – is trying to defend itself against Meghan’s allegations that she unlawfully violated her privacy by publishing excerpts from a letter to her father, Thomas Markle. It is argued that she herself allowed US magazine People and Finding Freedom writers Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand to produce “cheap” versions of her life story, which the royal couple denied.
In September 2020, Meghan’s lawyers insisted in court that “neither the” [duchess] nor did her husband work with the writers to bring out “their version of the events”. And in November of the same year the Duchess personally approved a statement in which she said she “does not know whether and to what extent the” [palace] Communication team were involved in providing information for the book.
But yesterday Meghan told the court: “When I agreed [that] Passage, I did not have the benefit of seeing these emails and I apologize to the court for not remembering this exchange at the time. I had absolutely no desire or intention to mislead the accused or the court. ‘
The appeals court received a tranche of emails and text messages between Harry and Meghan and their palace advisors over the months of August through December 2018.
Mr. Scobie and Miss Durand had reached out to the palace and the couple’s friends for help in writing the biography, and there had been several internal discussions about whether or not to “get engaged” to the authors.
In an email from Meghan to her head of communications on August 30th, which she copied to Prince Harry, it said about Mr Scobie: “I have the feeling he needs to be informed as soon as possible”.
Emails show that Mr Knauf indicates that it is “not a good idea” to put the authors in touch with their friends, and on December 10th told them: “To be able to say, hand on heart, that we have access have not relieved will be important. “
Mr. Knauf offered to meet the authors himself. He emailed Prince Harry and said, “Tomorrow, sir. Attached are the topics Omid and Carolyn would like to discuss. Please you can decide whether you want to share this with the Duchess. Let me know what you think. I’ll be seeing them this week to help with factual accuracy and context. ‘
Harry replied in response: “I think definitely share this with the Duchess and make her the proposal you have here. She will support us 100% and I totally agree that we have to say that we have nothing to do with it. “
He added, “Likewise, if you give them the right context and background, it would help bring some truths to the public. The truth is desperately needed and would be appreciated, especially on Markle / wedding matters, but at the same time we cannot directly relate her to her friends. ‘
Mr Knauf said in court: “I said, ‘If you are satisfied, I will see you later this week to provide the real background and provide a newer context”.
“The Duchess replied that evening and said,” Thank you very much for the information below – because when you sit down with them it can be helpful to have some background reminders, so I’ve included them below just in case. ” In the email, the Duchess copied the list of questions and subject areas and added the briefing points that I should convey to the authors at my meeting. ‘
In an email from Meghan to her head of communications on August 30th, which she copied to Prince Harry, it said about Mr Scobie: “I have the feeling he needs to be informed as soon as possible”. The picture shows the book cover Finding Freedom
In her two-page email submitted to the court, Meghan wrote, “Please let me know if you’d like me to fill in any other gaps.”
A copy of the email shows that she has annotated five of the authors’ 19 questions. This included her “non-relationship” with her half-siblings, which she believed involved “minimal interaction”, partly due to the age difference of 16 years.
When asked about her father, Meghan’s email read: “Meghan supported her father despite his withdrawal … Despite countless efforts to support him over the past two years, they are no longer in a relationship.”
The detailed briefing note that the Duchess wrote for Mr Knauf’s meeting with Mr Scobie and Miss Durand also contained her version of the events of an alleged disagreement during a meeting with the Queen to try on a tiara for the royal wedding, which ” misrepresented “was by the media”.
Mr. Knauf told the court: “In a subsequent e-mail exchange on the same day, the Duke wrote to me:“ You are also planning to give you an approximate idea of what you have been through in the last 2 years? Media attack, a different level of cyber bullying, Thomas Markle puppet show, etc., etc. Even if you choose not to use it, you should hear from someone who was in the middle of it. So if you don’t intend to tell them, can I ?! ‘.
When asked about her father, Meghan’s email said: “Meghan supported her father despite his withdrawal … Despite countless efforts to support him over the past two years, they no longer have a relationship.”
‘I replied and said,’ Of course – I never stopped! ‘
The former communications secretary who now works for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge said: “This briefing between myself and the two authors took place on December 12, 2018 and lasted almost two hours.”
Andrew Caldecott QC said for the Mail on Sunday the evidence showed Meghan “wasn’t shy about giving private information to the writers.”
In her testimony, the Duchess said: “As far as I can remember, Mr. Knauf first made my attention to the book in the early summer of 2018 at a meeting in the audience room of Kensington Palace. He told me the writers wanted to meet me and we both agreed it was inappropriate. ‘
Meghan said that if she had remembered telling her advisor to let the writers know, she would have been “more than happy” to have referred to her emails, “as I think they are very supportive of my case “.
The Duchess pointed out that her briefing e-mail contained “no reference to the letter, let alone the contents of the letter” that she had sent to her father private letter was published in this book? falsely claiming that this clearly was an opportunity to do so. ‘
She said: “Nothing I shared with Mr. Knauf was anything special or exclusive to these authors. I said very little to my father other than confirming that I no longer have a relationship with him, which has already been covered a lot in the media. ‘