Meghan Markle: why Duchess of Sussex has apologised to a court - and legal row with publisher explained
The Duchess of Sussex is in a legal battle with Associated Newspapers Limited - the publisher of The Mail On Sunday
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Meghan Markle has apologised for misleading a court after forgetting that she asked a senior aide to brief the authors of an unauthorised biography about her and her husband.
The Duchess of Sussex, 40, is currently in a legal battle with Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL) - the publisher of The Mail On Sunday.
What is the legal row about?
Meghan sued ANL over five articles that reproduced parts of a “personal and private” letter sent to her father Thomas Markle, 77, in August 2018.
The High Court ruled earlier this year that the publication of the letter to her father was unlawful.
The court made a summary judgment for Meghan, meaning that the case would not go to trial.
However, the ANL is challenging that ruling at the Court of Appeal.
The publisher is arguing that the case should go on trial on Meghan’s claims including breach of privacy and copyright.
Why Meghan Markle apologised
The court heard a witness statement this week from Meghan and Harry’s former communications secretary Jason Knauf.
Mr Knauf said that he provided information to the authors of Finding Freedom by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand.
He added that the book was “discussed on a routine basis”, which was “discussed directly with the duchess multiple times in person and over email”.
Mr Knauf also discussed planning a meeting with the authors to provide background information and said Meghan had given him several briefing points to share with them.
This included information on how she had “very minimal contact” with her half-siblings during her childhood.
Emails released as part of Mr Knauf’s statement showed he had emailed Harry to discuss the book and to say he would meet the authors.
According to the former aide, the duke replied: “I totally agree that we have to be able to say we didn’t have anything to do with it.
“Equally, you giving the right context and background to them would help get some truths out there.”
What Meghan said in her apology to the court
In her witness statement, made public on Wednesday (10 November), Meghan apologised for misleading the court about whether Mr Knauf provided information to Mr Scobie or Ms Durand.
She said: “I accept that Mr Knauf did provide some information to the authors for the book and that he did so with my knowledge, for a meeting that he planned for with the authors in his capacity as communications secretary.
“The extent of the information he shared is unknown to me.
“When I approved the passage…I did not have the benefit of seeing these emails and I apologise to the court for the fact that I had not remembered these exchanges at the time.
“I had absolutely no wish or intention to mislead the defendant or the court.”
Meghan added that she would have been “more than happy” to refer to the exchanges with Mr Knauf if she had been aware of them at the time.
She also added that in October last year her lawyers applied to adjourn the trial date as she was pregnant.
She said she was advised to avoid stress, after her recent miscarriage, which came shortly after ANL indicated it wished to reveal the identities of her five friends who gave an interview to the US magazine, People, in which they referred to her relationship with her father.
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