Meghan Markle‘s lawyers denied that she cooperated with Finding Freedom book authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, and now the book — which includes details about her personal life — is being pulled into her ongoing legal battle against the Mail on Sunday.
Markle, 39, sued the publisher of the Mail on Sunday and the MailOnline website last year for breach of privacy and infringement of copyright after the outlet published a personal letter she wrote to her father, Thomas Markle.
However, Associated Newspapers disputed Markle’s claims. During a hearing, which was held on Monday, September 21, the publisher alleged that Markle worked with Scobie and Durand. The papers claim that the Suits alum “caused or permitted information to be provided directly or indirectly to, and co-operated with, the authors of the Book, including by giving or permitting them to be given information about the Letter, before the publication of the Articles complained about; and giving or permitting them to be given a great deal of other information about her personal life, in order to set out her own version of events in a way that is favorable to her.”
They said 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.”
Antony White, the lawyer for Associated Newspapers, said the book authors collaborated with Markle and her husband, Prince Harry.
But Markle’s lawyers denied she had anything to do with the book. “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,” Markle’s lawyer, Justin Rushbrooke, wrote.
Markle’s legal team accused Scobie and Durand of using information that was already out there to write their tell-all book, which included details from Markle and Harry’s first date to a FaceTime conversation in her bathtub, in which the Duchess told a friend about her “final message” to her father; the legal team said Markle never sent the aforementioned “message.”
“This is evidently not correct as the Claimant has, in this case, provided the full exchanges between her and her father in the run up to the wedding,” said Markle’s solicitor and Schillings partner Jenny Afia. “Her last message to him was on May 17, 2018 at 12.26.” The section of the book detailing the so-called final note to Thomas Markle, explained Afia, is “incorrect.”
Other tidbits from Finding Freedom that have been shut down by the Duke and Duchess’ legal team include Meghan and Harry’s first meeting with Doria Ragland (during which they enjoyed “the most delicious sashimi”) and Harry’s text communications to his father, Prince Charles. “It is widely known that the Prince of Wales does not have a mobile phone,” said the legal documents.
Meanwhile, Finding Freedom co-author Scobie has written a witness statement as part of the case. The newspaper will “test Mr. Scobie’s evidence in cross-examination.” The trial is scheduled to start on January 11, 2021.
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