A peek into Meghan Markle’s text messages have revealed shocking new details surrounding what led her to write a letter to her estranged father years ago.
According to the texts — which were sent to her former communications secretary Jason Knauf — the 40-year-old claimed she was sending a letter to her father Thomas Markle in order to protect her husband.
The former Suits actress penned the letter around the time of her royal wedding to Prince Harry in 2018, in which she asked her estranged father to stop talking to the press.
After the contents of the private letter were leaked by The Mail On Sunday, Markle ended up suing the newspaper publishing company, Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL). Her case won without trial, on the basis that the leak was a breach of Markle’s privacy.
However, ANL is now appealing the ruling in Markle's favor, asking the court to consider evidence provided by Knauf suggesting that the former actress worded the letter with the possibility of a leak in mind.
In a hearing this week, Knauf provided his text conversation with Markle, who was under the contact “Tilly” in his phone, per Daily Mail. The text messages reveal that the Duchess of Sussex wrote the letter in an attempt to stop the royal family from “berating” her husband.
“The catalyst for my doing this is seeing how much pain this is causing H,” she reportedly wrote to Knauf in August 2018. “Even after a week with his dad and endlessly explaining the situation, his family seem to forget the context — and revert to “can’t she just go and see him and make this stop?”
Markle has had a strained relationship with her father for years, and hasn’t seen him since before her nuptials with Prince Harry (her father also did not attend the ceremony).
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According to the court papers obtained by The Sun, Markle claimed that the royal family wanted her to fly to Mexico to convince her father to stop engaging with the media in person, which she said was “completely unrealistic.”
Markle also insisted, “It was only when my father began criticizing the royal family...that senior members of the family and their advisers expressed their concern over the public attacks, and expressed their desire to have them stop.”
“I felt that even if my attempt to stop my father talking to the media failed, at least my husband would be able to say to his family that I had done everything I could to stop it.”
Markle’s texts to Knauf seem to tell a similar story, where she told the former aide, “At least by writing H will be able to say to his family…’she wrote him a letter and he’s still doing it.’”
“By taking this form of action I protect my husband from this constant berating, and while unlikely perhaps it will give my father a moment to pause,” she continued in the texts.
In her messages to Knauf, Markle explained that she was sending Knauf the contents of the letter in confidence, but she admitted, “Obviously everything I have drafted is with the understanding that it could be leaked.”
“I have been meticulous in my word choice but please do let me know if anything stands out for you as a liability,” she wrote in the texts.
Knauf’s evidence provided in court supports ANL’s claim that Markle was aware of a possible leak, and that she worded the letter with that knowledge. However, it is not yet clear whether or not the ruling in her favor will be overturned.
At the end of the hearing on Thursday, November 11, the judges explained that they will give their decision on ANL’s appeal at “a later date,” per Daily Mail.