Meghan Markle’s private messages to the assistant who accused her of bullying have blown up her PR operation during her most high-profile trial.
The Duchess of Sussex lamented the Post on Sunday for publishing a private letter she sent her father, begging him not to speak to the media anymore.
She won a resounding victory in February without a trial requiring her to testify, but the paper appealed.
Now Jason Knauf, her former communications secretary, texted her about the handwritten note to the Court of Appeals, where the tabloid is trying to undo her privacy victory.
Meghan’s message to Knauf in 2018, prior to sending the letter, said: “Obviously everything I’ve drafted is with the understanding that it could be leaked, so I’ve been meticulous in my choice of words, but please let me know if something strikes you as an obligation.”
She added: “Honestly, Jason, I feel fantastic, cathartic and real and honest and factual.
“If he leaks it, it’s on his conscience, but at least the world will know the truth, words I could never utter publicly.”
The paper is using the reports to argue that Meghan’s right to privacy was diluted by the fact that she wanted the world to know what the letter’s contents were.
Meghan also expressed a desire to keep it a secret, saying: “Since I’ve just called him ‘Daddy’ it might make sense to open as such (despite being less than paternal), and in the unfortunate event that it drained would pull at the hearts.”
She added: “The rest is in the spirit of facts without appearing orchestrated, just a call for peace and a reminder of what really happened.”
The mail on SundayThe lawyers suggest the reports directly contradict Meghan’s own case to the court.
Meghan said in a witness statement seen by news week: “To be clear, I didn’t want any of it published, and I wanted to make sure that the risk of it being manipulated or misleadingly edited was minimized, should it be misused.”
However, Knauf’s revelations didn’t stop there and turned to another area where Meghan was in contention with the media.
The former palace employee also released messages sent to him by both Meghan and Harry about the biography find freedom prior to a meeting he had with the authors in December 2018.
Meghan wrote to Knauf: “Thank you so much for the info below – for when you sit down with them [the book’s authors] it might be helpful to have some background reminders, so I’ve included them below just in case.
“I know you’re better at this than most, but I help where I can. I appreciate your support – let me know if you need me to fill in any other blanks.”
Prince Harry also sent him a message saying: “I totally agree we should be able to say we have nothing to do with it.
“Even if you give them the right context and background, it would help to get some
truths out there.
“The truth is much needed and would be appreciated, especially around the Markle/marriage matters, but at the same time we can’t put them in direct contact with her friends.”
Meghan said in her court testimony: “As far as I can recall, Mr Knauf first brought the book to my attention around the early summer of 2018, at a meeting in the Audience Room of Kensington Palace, where many of our conversations have taken place.
“He told me about the book and that the authors wanted to meet me, which we both didn’t think was appropriate and so I would decline.
“Given my experience with the British media at the time, which I had come to mistrust, I didn’t want to meet authors in connection with a book being written about me, and neither did I.”