I’ve started writing this about five different times and I keep having to stop and go back and try to figure out what’s actually happening. This is all about the Duchess of Sussex’s lawsuit against the Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday for their reporting around many things, but especially their reporting around Thomas Markle and the publication of a letter Meghan sent her father just a few months after her 2018 wedding. The Mail and their lawyers want to make this case all about the People Magazine cover story in early 2019, in which Meghan’s unnamed friends introduced the subject of the letter Meghan sent her father. This mess has not gone to trial yet – everything we’ve heard thus far has been pre-trial filings and the judge limiting the scope of some of Meghan’s arguments. Since I trust Omid Scobie’s take on things, here’s how he explained it:
Lawyers for Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, made a court filing on June 30 following a request from the Mail on Sunday for further information. Their legal response (which the Mail published parts of today) aims to provide evidence to disprove core claims made in Associated’s case.
The response also aims to undermine the Mail’s defence that Meghan arranged for friends to speak to People about her letter to her father (and, therefore, was not entitled to privacy). The docs explain in detail that she did not know about or have anything to do with the article.
A source close to the Sussexes explains that this is the Mail on Sunday’s third request for further information: “[The paper] has continued to make a further series of claims about The Duchess, that again, we provided evidence that dismisses these claims one by one.”
Scobie also published a statement from Meghan’s lawyers about Meghan’s state of mind when the Mail was attacking her on an hourly basis. The Mail wanted her to explain why she was “vulnerable” at the time of the Mail publishing her letter to her father. This was also the justification for why Meghan’s friends went to People Magazine:
“The claimant had become the subject of a large number of false and damaging articles by the UK tabloid media, specifically by the Defendant, which caused tremendous emotional distress and damage to her mental health. As her friends had never seen her in this state before, they were rightly concerned for her welfare, specifically as she was pregnant, unprotected by the Institution, and prohibited from defending herself.”
I don’t really understand why people are acting like this is new information? Yes, it’s “new” because it came directly from Meghan’s lawyers, but we’ve known this entire time that Meghan and Harry felt unprotected and like they were being “prohibited” from defending themselves, Meghan especially. The Mail also has a piece out saying that Meghan “has identified five friends who gave an interview to People Magazine about the letter” and that Meghan continues to claim that she “did not know about the interview having been given, and only found out about it, and any reference to the Letter, after the People magazine article was published.” I’m not going to link to the Mail’s coverage because, obviously, they cannot be fair arbiters of what is actually happening with this case.
Regardless of whether or not you believe that Meghan actually authorized her friends to speak to People Magazine, that is not the crux of the f–king case. I feel like everyone is ignoring what ACTUALLY happened. For months, Toxic Thomas Markle was claiming up and down that Meghan had not contacted him since the wedding and for months, he was being paid to do all of those horrible f–king interviews trashing his daughter. The People story made mention of the letter as a way to point out that, actually, Toxic Tom was lying and Meghan had been in contact. And now Toxic Tom claims that he *had* to release Meghan’s letter to the Daily Mail to “prove” that she’s a big meanie. Nevermind that the actual letter showed that she was already fed up with his lies and attacks and she was begging him to stop selling her out every week. The existence of the letter actually proved that he had been lying for months.
So, again, how did the Mail twist this lawsuit into some kind of referendum on whether Meghan authorized her friends to speak to People? You know, like Kate authorized her friends to speak to Tatler (and Vanity Fair, People Magazine and the Daily Mail). You know, like Charles authorizes his people to speak to his biographers and various media outlets all the time. The fact that the Mail is sort of dictating the conversation about this issue specifically is really bugging me. All of those British tabloid editors were seriously BIG MAD at the very idea that Meghan didn’t actually have to rely on them to get her story out, that she could possibly go to a friendly American outlet like People Magazine. That’s why so much of this is happening.
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