Meghan Markle was given Finding Freedom book BEFORE it was released – but still denies colluding with author
MEGHAN Markle was given a copy of Finding Freedom book BEFORE it was released – but still denies colluding with the authors.
The Duchess of Sussex's legal team said the 39-year-old had been given a copy of the book "immediately before its serialisation".
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But they insisted it was too late for the former actress to make any changes.
It is the latest revelation in the Duchess of Sussex's privacy battle as she sues Associated Newspapers, the publisher of the Mail on Sunday, for releasing a letter she wrote to her estranged father Thomas Markle.
In court documents submitted today, Meghan Markle's lawyers said: "The Claimant’s US publicist was only given a copy of the Book immediately before its serialisation, by which time it had already been printed.
"It was therefore too late for the Claimant to ask for any changes to be made, so that the pleaded inference was false, and there was (accordingly) no invitation to suggest amendments to the text, nor any request for such amendments."
It was revealed today that:
- Meghan Markle's privacy battle won't go to trial in January and has instead been adjourned to autumn next year
- Mr Justice Warby said the 'primary basis' on which the adjournment was sought was 'confidential'
- A hearing was held behind closed doors before the judge revealed his decision
- Her lawyers' application to appeal the judge's decision to allow the Mail on Sunday to use Finding Freedom as part of their defence was denied
- Meghan has been given permission to apply for a summary judgment in January
- Thomas Markle said he could 'die tomorrow' as he begged the court to reject Meghan's bid to delay the trial
- The 39-year-old's estranged dad said he has anxiety around the case but has vowed to tell the truth
Finding Freedom, written by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, is a tell-all about the Sussexes experience when they quit as senior royals in what become dubbed Megxit.
Meghan last month lost a court battle to block claims she allegedly co-operated with the authors.
She was accused of feeding personal information to the writers of the biography to “set out her own version of events in a way that is favourable to her” – therefore breaching her own privacy.
Anthony White QC, for the MoS, said: “[Meghan] has allowed information about her private and family life, including her relationship and communications with her father and the letter, and the private and family lives of others, to enter the public domain by means of the book.”
Her legal team today applied to appeal the decision to allow the publishers of the Mail on Sunday to use the biography as part of their case.
Jane Phillips, representing Meghan, told Mr Justice Warby: "The new case ought not to have been allowed.
"It was speculative, it was unsubstantiated by evidence and it was inherently implausible and, we say most importantly, it was bad in law."
She added that the new case was "not only a stab in the dark, but it was a stab in the dark in the wrong room".
However Mr Justice Warby today refused the application.
Meghan’s lawyers have fiercely denied she collaborated with the authors – even calling the stories in Finding Freedom “extremely anodyne, the product of creative licence and/or inaccurate” in a bid to distance her from it.
Author Omid Scobie claimed in his witness statement it was "false" to suggest Harry or Meghan collaborated on Finding Freedom.
The Duchess is seeking damages from the Mail on Sunday for alleged misuse of private information, breaching the Data Protection Act and infringement of copyright over five articles published in February 2019 which included extracts from the "private and confidential" letter to her father.
Publisher Associated Newspapers claimed Prince Harry's wife had herself leaked details of the letter to the media through friends.
The publisher argued that Meghan was "pleased" when five friends spoke up to defend her in an interview with People Magazine, which mentioned the letter.
Meghan, who is currently living in the US with Prince Harry and their one-year-old son Archie, is suing ANL over five articles in total, two in the MoS and three on MailOnline, which were published in February 2019, and reproduced parts of a handwritten letter she sent to her father in August 2018.
ANL wholly denies the allegations, particularly the duchess's claim that the letter was edited in any way that changed its meaning, and says it will hotly contest the case.
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