Home LA Showbiz Meghan Markle drops claims her estranged father was ‘manipulated’ by the press

Meghan Markle drops claims her estranged father was ‘manipulated’ by the press

The Duchess has been forced to strike out parts of her case against the Mail On Sunday

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Meghan Markle has revised her privacy case against Associated Newspapers, following last month’s High Court ruling.

The Duchess of Sussex is suing Associated Newspapers, the publisher of the UK Mail on Sunday, for printing a “private and confidential” letter to her estranged father Thomas Markle.

Meghan’s legal battle against the publisher officially kicked off at the end of April as the first High Court hearing took place via video link – due to the coronavirus pandemic.

During the hearing, Associated Newspapers made an application to have parts of her case thrown out, including claims that they caused a ‘rift’ between her and her estranged father.

One week later, Mr Justice Warby ruled in the publisher’s favour by throwing out large parts of her case against the Mail on Sunday.

The Judge struck out claims that the paper acted “dishonestly” by leaving out certain passages of the letter, and also dismissed allegations that the newspaper “stirred up” conflict between the Duchess and her father.

According to The Sun, new court documents have revealed Meghan’s case will no longer allege her father was “manipulated” by the press.

Lawyers have also removed allegations that the paper “harassed and humiliated” Thomas Markle, and they’ve deleted accusations that the paper published “misleading information in relation to Frogmore Cottage” – where Meghan and Harry previously lived.

When Mr Justice Warby struck out parts of Meghan’s case, he said: “Some of the allegations are struck out as irrelevant to the purpose for which they are pleaded. Some are struck out on the further or alternative ground that they are inadequately detailed.”

“I have also acted so as to confine the case to what is reasonably necessary and proportionate for the purpose of doing justice between these parties.”

At the time, a spokesperson for law firm Schillings, which is representing Meghan, said in a statement: “Whilst the judge recognises that there is a claim for breach of privacy and copyright, we are surprised to see that his ruling suggests that dishonest behaviour is not relevant.”

“We feel honesty and integrity are at the core of what matters; or as it relates to the Mail on Sunday and Associated Newspapers, their lack thereof.”

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“The extremes to which The Mail on Sunday used distortive, manipulative, and dishonest tactics to target The Duchess of Sussex have been put on full display,” they added.

The virtual High Court hearing was a stepping stone to a potential full trial in late 2020 or early 2021.

During the hearing, Meghan’s barrister David Sherborne, who previously acted as Princess Diana’s lawyer, confirmed she’s willing to give evidence in court – if the case eventually goes to trial.

He said: “The defendant [Associated Newspapers] wants to cross-examine her [Meghan] as to whether that belief is reasonable or not – and they can do that.”

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This means Meghan could come face-to-face with her estranged father Thomas Markle, who is reportedly prepared to give evidence against his daughter in court.

The Duchess of Sussex is suing Associated Newspapers, the publisher of the UK Mail on Sunday, for printing a “private and confidential” letter to her estranged father.

Meghan’s father received the letter in August 2018, months before sections of it were published in the UK Mail on Sunday and on the MailOnline in February, 2019.

The handwritten letter was “obviously private correspondence” which detailed Meghan’s “deepest and most private thoughts and feelings about her relationship with her father.”

The mother-of-one is seeking damages from Associated Newspapers Ltd for alleged misuse of private information, copyright infringement and breach of the Data Protection Act.

However, Associated Newspapers have defended the document’s publication by suggesting Meghan put the letter in the public domain by allegedly telling friends about it – who later spoke to People magazine.

Thomas Markle previously said he felt pressured to share the letter with the press, after it’s contents were allegedly misrepresented in the People article.

The 75-year-old told The Mail On Sunday: “I have to defend myself. I only released parts of the letter because other parts were so painful. The letter didn’t seem loving to me. I found it hurtful.”

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In response, Meghan has insisted that she was unaware five close friends were planning to speak to People magazine about her strained relationship with Thomas, for an article published in February 2019.

The People magazine article, which was published on February 18, 2019, referred to letters exchanged between Meghan and her father Thomas.

If the case goes to trial, it is possible that Meghan’s friends could be asked to testify under oath about her claims.