Meghan Markle has denied statements that she didn’t give her father Thomas financial support, saying she made “voluntary contributions” as soon as she started working.
Details of the Markle family’s finances are the latest issue in the duchess’ ongoing legal battle against the Mail on Sunday over their publication of a handwritten letter she sent him.
In paperwork submitted to the High Court, she responds to an “imputation” that she didn’t help her father out with cash despite him assisting to pay for her education.
The legal documents claim that Meghan began giving her dad money in January 2014, however this stopped in May 2018 – when she married Prince Harry.
They also say that Meghan has always cared deeply about her father’s health, and that the money he got from selling stories and photo ops about his royal daughter “would appear to exceed and offset the excess medical cost of roughly $2,500”.
The documents say claims that Thomas paid for all of Meghan’s education are false, adding that even though Thomas helped her financially while she was studying she also got a grant and took part time jobs to make ends meet.
The papers state: “In any event, it is admitted and has never been denied that the Claimant’s father supported her throughout her childhood and as a young adult.
“Mr Markle did not pay for all of the Claimant’s college tuition. The Claimant’s mother also contributed towards her university costs.
“In addition, the Claimant received scholarships for academic achievement, which reduced the payable tuition fees.
“The Claimant also undertook a work-study programme whereby income she made from working on campus after class was applied directly to supplement and lower her tuition costs, thus personally contributing to her tuition as well.”
The papers also go into further details about Meghan’s paid-work, explaining: “The Claimant always maintained full-time jobs while auditioning, both as a professional calligrapher as well as working in a restaurant.
The Claimant’s father gave occasional financial support to the Claimant, just as she provided reciprocal financial support to him once she began earning.”
Referencing how Thomas got the money to assist Meghan, they state: “The facts are that Mr Markle opted to take out a loan from Northwestern University for tuition costs for his daughter.
From the moment the Claimant began to earn sufficient income, she began making voluntary financial contributions to her father.
These contributions were not towards loan payments (which she was not aware were still due, if they were) but purely to give her father personal financial support.”
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Meghan is suing Associated Newspapers over five articles that were published in the Mail on Sunday and on Mail Online at the beginning of 2019 relating to a letter she sent her dad the previous August.
Meghan claims her dad’s decision to make the letter public breached her privacy, copyright and data protection rights, and is seeking damages.
If she wins the case, she has said she will donate the money to an anti-bullying charity.
However, Associated Newspapers denies the allegations and plans to fight the case. In particualr, they strongly deny Meghan’s claims that they edited the letter to change its meaning.