The Duchess of Sussex is suing Associated Newspapers, publisher of The Mail On Sunday and MailOnline, over articles which featured parts of a “private and confidential” letter to her estranged father. In new court papers, Meghan said she and Mr Markle “had a very close father/daughter relationship throughout her childhood and remained close until he was targeted three years ago by intrusive UK tabloid media”.
The former actress also denies claims she has not provided financial support for her father.
In the court documents, Meghan’s lawyers say it has “never been denied that the Claimant’s father supported her throughout her childhood and as a young adult”.
The papers claim the ex-Suits star “began making voluntary financial contributions to her father” once she started earning to give “personal financial support”.
The documents add: “The Claimant’s father gave occasional financial support to the Claimant, just as she provided reciprocal financial support to him once she began earning.”
The papers claim Meghan had provided “substantial financial support to her father from January 2014” until they cut contact in May 2018.
Prince Harry’s wife only found out friends had spoken anonymously to a US magazine, with one revealing details of the letter from Meghan to her father, after the article was published in February 2019, according to the court documents.
She discovered one friend had spoken to People during her extravagant New York baby shower, the papers claim.
The documents submitted to the High Court state: “The claimant realised Friends A, B and C had given anonymous interviews to People magazine upon learning that the article had been published.
“Her belief that they had been involved was confirmed during phone calls via FaceTime on the day of publication and the following day.
“The claimant learnt Friend D was one of the anonymous sources for the People magazine article on or around February 19 2019 when the two of them met in person.
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“She subsequently learnt of Friend E’s involvement a few days later during a celebration with friends to mark the forthcoming birth of her son.
“This discussion also took place in person.
“All of these conversations took place post publication.”
The papers were in response to requests from Associated Newspapers for further information.
Lawyers acting for Associated Newspapers have argued that her five friends brought the letter into the public domain when it was referred to for the first time in their magazine interview.
They insist Mr Markle revealed the letter to correct the “false” impression Meghan’s friends had given about his actions in their interview.
The 38-year-old is seeking damages, which she has said will be donated to an anti-bullying charity, from Associated Newspapers for alleged misuse of private information, copyright infringement and breach of the Data Protection Act.
Associated Newspapers wholly denies the allegations, particularly the claim that the letter was edited in any way that changed its meaning, and says it will hotly contest the case.
Earlier this month Meghan applied to the High Court to stop Associated Newspapers from naming her five friends.
But a spokesman for The Mail On Sunday said the paper had “no intention” of identifying the friends but the question of their anonymity should be considered by the court.
Meghan is living in Los Angeles with Harry and their one-year-old son Archie after quitting royal duties earlier this year.