Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle “had help” from senior palace aides when she drafted a letter to her estranged father, with the knowledge that it would be disclosed to the public, according to court documents.
The Telegraph reported that Markle spent “several weeks” typing the letter into the notes app on her phone before she wrote it by hand.
The Duchess is suing The Mail on Sunday, who argued that she did not write the letter alone.
According to the High Court in London, The Mail on Sunday claims that the Kensington Palace press team assisted Markle with the letter and that it recites “pre-existing facts and admonishment” as well as her own views on Thomas Markle.
She is suing the newspaper’s publisher, Associated Newspapers, for breach of privacy and copyright after it published parts of the letter.
The 10-day trial was due to take place in January 2021 but was postponed for at least nine months in October after the Suits alum won a delay.
The letter was sent by Markle in August 2018, just weeks after her wedding to Prince Harry. She accused her father of breaking her heart “into a million pieces.”
The letter only became public knowledge several months later when Markle’s friends mentioned it in an interview.
In an amended claim, the Duchess said that she drafted the note “using her own intellectual creativity” on her phone before writing it out by hand and made some “minor modifications.” Both the electronic draft and the physical letter was cited as “original literary work,” which deserves to be protected by copyright.
“It is for the Claimant to prove she was the only person who contributed to the writing of the Electronic Draft,” a document lodged by The Mail on Sunday said.
“Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, the Defendant infers that Jason Knauf and/or others in the Kensington Palace Communications team contributed to the writing of the Electronic Draft. Precisely which parts were the result of such contribution is uniquely known to the Claimant, Jason Knauf and others in the team,” the documents said.
The Mail on Sunday also claims that the letter is not completely original as the Duchess herself is not protected by copyright. “The whole of the Letter comprises a recitation of facts both past and present, including the Claimant’s views as to her father and his conduct and an admonishment to him,” the document adds. “The Defendant’s case is all of those pre-existing facts and admonishment as such are not themselves part of any literary intellectual creation of the Claimant and therefore not original in the copyright sense.”
In September, the newspaper applied to amend its defense in light of Finding Freedom, which is a biography about Meghan and Harry that is favorable toward the couple. Their application was successful, and it claimed that Markle breached her own privacy because she “permitted” details about her life to be shared with the book’s authors, which she denied.
Markle’s legal team did not meet the October 21 deadline to set out her “reply” and was granted an extension until November 13 to file the document and then another extension until Wednesday, November 18.
Kensington Palace declined to comment to The Telegraph.
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!