Meghan Markle wrote letter to dad knowing it could be leaked, says Jason Knauf

Meghan Markle wrote a handwritten letter to her estranged father Thomas Markle knowing it could be leaked to the media, according to her former press secretary Jason Knauf.

Knauf shared his witness testimony at the Court of Appeal, where Mail on Sunday appealed against 40 year old Meghan's recent privacy win.

"When the Duchess was considering how to handle Mr Markle's increasing public interventions – both for concerns about his welfare and also to protect her reputation – she explored options for written communication that might convince him to stop giving interviews, but that could also set the record straight if he gave them to the media," he said on Thursday 10 November.

Knauf went on to talk about Meghan's actions regarding her father Thomas, 77, as he said: "The Duchess said she was writing the letter in part to allow the Duke to demonstrate to his family that some action was being taken by the couple to stop Mr Markle from continuing to engage with the media. She added that '…while unlikely perhaps it will also give my father a moment to pause’.

"She asked me to review the text of the letter, saying 'obviously everything I have drafted is with the understanding that it could be leaked so I have been meticulous in my word choice but please do let me know if anything stands out for you as a liability'."

Knauf said Meghan asked if she should call Thomas "daddy" in the letter, adding that it could "pull at the heartstrings" if it got leaked to the media.

"She also asked a specific question regarding addressing Mr Markle as 'daddy' in the letter, saying 'given I've only ever called him daddy it may make sense to open as such (despite him being less than paternal), and in the unfortunate event that it leaked it would pull at the heartstrings'," he explained in his statement.

The former head of communications said that Meghan "deliberately ended each page part way through a sentence so that no page could be falsely presented as the end of the letter.

"In the event that it was leaked she wanted the full narrative as set out in the letter to be understood and shared."

Knauf, who spoke at the High Court, added: "She said she felt 'fantastic' after writing it and added that 'And if he leaks it then that's on his conscious but at least the world will know the truth.

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"Words I could never voice publicly'."

OK! Online has approached Meghan's representative for further comment.

Meghan had penned the letter shortly after her wedding to Prince Harry, 37, who she shares children Archie, two, and baby Lilibet with, in 2018.

Reproduced parts of the letter were then published in several articles in the Mail on Sunday which she claimed were without her permission, sparking Meghan's legal action against their publisher, Associated Newspapers Limited [ANL].

She had claimed that the publication of extracts from the letter misused her private information, infringed her copyright and breached the Data Protection Act.

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Associated Newspapers Limited had previously argued that Meghan’s former communications secretary Knauf was a co-author of the letter, meaning copyright belonged to the Crown.

However, In the remote hearing in May over the copyright claim on the letter, Knauf’s lawyers said: “Mr Knauf did not draft, and has never claimed to have drafted, any parts of the electronic draft or the letter and would never have asserted copyright over any of their content.

“In our client's view, it was the duchess's letter alone.”

Meghan won the remainder of the copyright claim as a result. The papers revealed by Knauf today were part of the Mail on Sunday's appeal against this win.

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