Meghan Markle finds it "deeply offensive" that the tabloid Mail on Sunday and its publisher Associated Newspapers insinuated in court that she wrote a letter to her father, Thomas Markle, for her media strategy and PR. As a result, her lawyers said that they would seek "aggravated damages" on behalf of their client if she wins this legal battle.
Court filings from Meghan's legal team, as obtained by Newsweek, indicated that the defense has speculated and made unsubstantiated claims against the duchess with regards to the letter. Meghan's lawyers said that she wrote Thomas based "on the advice of senior members of the Royal Family," to protect her family and the institution, as well as to prevent the media from further intrusion.
They cited that this was contrary to the allegations of the tabloid, whose lawyers told the court that Meghan would not object to reports if it is "favorable and flattering to her."
The duchess' lawyers also called out Mail on Sunday's claims that she was able to secure a holiday in a luxury resort in Ibiza because of her status in the royal family. Meghan's lawyers said that such allegation was also "false, offensive and irrelevant in law" and one of the many claims made by the tabloid without any regard for the truth or privacy of Prince Harry's wife.
In the summer of 2019, Prince Harry and Meghan flew in a private jet for a four-day trip to a resort in Spain with their infant son, Archie Harrison. The lawyers said this was made possible upon the invitation of a long-time friend who knew the Duchess of Sussex before she became a royal.
Meanwhile, Judge Mark Warby has ruled that the defense might not need to call on Thomas in court because he is "not an important witness." While he was the recipient of Meghan's controversial letter, the judge said that the defense could present his statement via a recorded video before the trial. He won't have to be physically present in London.
In October, Thomas said that he was disappointed that the trial will be moved from January 2021 to the fall season over a confidential reason. Meghan's father said that he was looking forward to clearing himself in court after his daughter accused him of lying and collaborating with the tabloids. The father and daughter have been estranged for two years.
Thomas also said that he had hoped to get on with the trial because he fears he doesn't have much time with an allegedly failing health. Warby said in a statement that there is no medical evidence from the defense to suggest that the delay of the trial would impede the availability of Meghan's father.