Home Royals Meghan Markle denies she collaborated with Finding Freedom authors – amid ongoing...

Meghan Markle denies she collaborated with Finding Freedom authors – amid ongoing legal battle

Associated Newspapers have accused the Duchess of co-operating with the book's authors

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Credit: WENN.com

Meghan Markle has denied claims she collaborated with the authors of Finding Freedom, amid her ongoing legal battle against Associated Newspapers.

The Duchess of Sussex is suing Associated Newspapers, the publisher of the UK Mail on Sunday, for printing a “private and confidential” letter she sent her estranged father Thomas Markle in 2018.

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.

During a High Court hearing in London on Monday, Associated Newspapers Ltd. submitted an application to amend their defense in light of Finding Freedom’s publication.

Antony White, the lawyer for Associated Newspapers, said in written submissions that the book appeared to have been written with Meghan and Prince Harry’s “extensive cooperation.”

ANL’s legal team argued the book “contains a great deal of detailed information about (Meghan’s) personal life, including a number of passages referring to her relationship and communications with her father, and a section referring to the letter which is at the heart of this case.”

Court submissions claim that if Meghan “provided extensive cooperation to the authors and permitted a detailed account of her private life, relationships, thoughts and feelings to be published, including references to her relationship and communications with her father, it is difficult to see how she can complain that the Letter should not have been published because ‘it contained the Claimant’s deepest and most private thoughts and feelings.'”

Responding to ANL’s application, Meghan’s lawyers denied that she co-operated with authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand on Finding Freedom, which was published last month.

Photo © The Duke and Duchess of Sussex / Chris Allerton

In a written submission, Justin Rushbrooke QC said: “The claimant and her husband did not collaborate with the authors on the book, nor were they interviewed for it, nor did they provide photographs to the authors for the book.”

Omid Scobie also submitted a witness statement to the High Court, and denied allegations that Meghan helped with the book.

Scobie confirmed he has spoken to Meghan and Harry “on occasions in the past” as a royal correspondent, but “never about the book.”

In response, ANL’s lawyer Anthony White QC said he hopes to “test Mr Scobie’s evidence in cross-examination” when a full trial takes place next year.

The trial is scheduled to begin on January 11, 2021.

Meghan is suing Associated Newspapers, the publisher of the UK Mail on Sunday, for printing a “private and confidential” letter she sent her estranged father Thomas Markle in 2018.

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 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 letter’s publication by suggesting Meghan put it in the public domain by allegedly telling friends about it – who later spoke to People magazine.

Credit: WENN.com

The Duchess has insisted she was unaware that 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.

The five friends requested anonymity at the time of their interview, in order to protect their private relationships.

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.

Credit: John Rainford/WENN.com

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.”

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

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 76-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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