The Duchess of Sussex has apologized in court for not recalling authorizing one of her top aides to share the authors of the unofficial bios of her and Harry.
Megan filed a statement to the court saying she could not recall emails between her and then press secretary Jason Knauf about the book.
But now the 40-year-old says the alleged emails related to the unauthorized book have crossed her mind.
This came when the Court of Appeal heard that the royal couple’s former communications minister had provided information to Finding Freedom authors Omid Scobie and Caroline Durand.
In a witness statement, Knauf said the book was “discussed on a routine basis”, which was “discussed directly with the Duchess several times in person and via email”.
He also discussed meeting the authors to provide background information on the book and claimed that Megan provided him with several briefing points to share with them.
Knauf claims to have emailed Meghan’s husband, Prince Harry, about the meeting, to which the Duke responded: “I totally agree we should be able to say we have nothing to do with the matter.
Likewise, giving proper context and background to them will help spread some facts.”
Meghan has apologized for misleading the court about whether Knauf provided information to the book’s authors, in a witness statement released Wednesday.
She said, “I agree that Mr. Knauf provided some information to the authors of the book and that he did so with my knowledge, for a meeting which he was planning to have with the authors in his capacity of communications secretary. The extent of the information he shared is unknown to me.”
“When I agreed to the clip… I did not benefit from seeing these emails and I apologize to the court for the fact that I did not remember these exchanged messages at the time. I had absolutely no desire or intent to mislead the defendant or the court.”
She added that she would have been “more than happy” to refer to the messages exchanged with Knauf if she had known about it at the time, adding that it was “a far cry from the highly detailed personal information the defendant claims I wanted.” or allowed to be placed in the public domain.”
The Duchess has successfully sued Mail on Sunday publisher Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL), over five articles that published parts of a “personal and private” letter sent to her father, Thomas Markle, in August 2018.
The Supreme Court ruled that the letter was illegal and thus avoided the need for a trial but ANL is challenging that ruling, arguing that the case should go to trial over Meghan’s allegations including privacy and copyright violations.
The Associated Press reports that ANL attorney Andrew Caldecott has told judges that correspondence between Meghan and Knauf shows the duchess suspects her father may leak the letter to reporters.
Caldecott said the letter was “made with readers in mind” and that Meghan “would have been happy for the public to read it if Mr. Markle were to leak it”.
He quoted a witness statement in which he said the Duchess “asked me to review the text of the letter, saying, ‘Obviously everything I’ve drafted is on the grounds that it could be leaked'”.
Knauf said Meghan asked if she should address her father in the letter as “Dad,” adding that “in the unfortunate event of a leak, it would be heart-warming.”
In her written testimony, the Duchess said she did not believe her father would “sell or leak the letter, primarily because it would not put him in a good place”.
“To be clear, I didn’t want any of it published, and wanted to make sure the risk of it being misleadingly manipulated or edited, if exploited, would be minimized,” she said.
The appeal hearing is scheduled to continue until Thursday, with a ruling to be issued at a later time.
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