Meghan Markle’s father ‘could give evidence against her’ in newspaper legal case

Peter Stubley
Thomas Markle holding baby daughter Meghan: Instagram

The estranged father of Meghan Markle could give evidence against her in court, according to reports.

Thomas Markle has agreed to be a witness for the Mail on Sunday after the Duchess of Sussex launched legal action against the newspaper, according to its sister publication, the Daily Mail.

The case centres on the Mail’s decision to publish extracts of a personal letter which Meghan sent to her father in August 2018, three months after she married Prince Harry.

Her lawyers Schillings argue the paper “intentionally distorted or manipulated” the letter’s context in an effort to portray Meghan “negatively” and allege misuse of private information, infringement of copyright and breach of the Data Protection Act 2018.

However the Mail on Sunday rejects the claims and argues there is ”huge and legitimate public interest” in the personal relationships of members of the royal family, according to High Court documents seen by the BBC.

The paper’s legal defence claims that Meghan and other royals “rely on publicity about themselves and their lives to maintain the privileged positions they hold”.

On Tuesday night The Daily Mail reported Mr Markle, 75, had handed over ”previously unseen messages and letters” to bolster the defence to the legal claim.

If the case goes before a High Court judge, “it could lead to the prospect of Meghan coming face-to-face with her father in the High Court,” the newspaper added.

Mr Markle became a controversial figure during the build-up to the royal wedding after he allegedly staged paparazzi photographs of himself and repeatedly talked to journalists about his contact with his daughter.

In one extract from the letter published by the Mail on Sunday, the duchess wrote: “Your actions have broken my heart into a million pieces – not simply because you have manufactured such unnecessary and unwarranted pain, but by making the choice to not tell the truth as you are puppeteered in this. Something I will never understand.”

In October Prince Harry said in a statement that he and his wife had been driven to take legal action against the newspaper by the “painful” impact of “relentless propaganda”.

Referencing press coverage of his mother Princess Diana, the duke said his “deepest fear is history repeating itself”.

On Monday the Queen agreed Prince Harry and Meghan could step back as senior royals and begin a “new life” as an “independent” family.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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