Meghan Markle has apologised and said she did not intend to deliberately mislead the court after she forgot about asking an aide to brief the author of a biography.
She confirmed she had misremembered the circumstances around how information was given to the authors of Finding Freedom
Details about Meghan’s life included in the book play a role in an ongoing legal battle between the Duchess of Sussex and a newspaper.
Lawyers for ANL have argued the letter was drawn up with ‘public consumption in mind’.
Meghan said in a witness statement: ‘I apologise to the Court for the fact that I had not remembered these exchanges at the time.
‘I had absolutely no wish or intention to mislead the Defendant or the Court.’
(Jason Knauf (Director of Communications LEFT) Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend the Tennis together at the Invictus Games in Toronto, Canada. Pictured: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Ref: SPL1586512 250917 Picture by: Splash News Splash News and Pictures Los Angeles: 310-821-2666 New York: 212-619-2666 London: 870-934-2666 email@example.com
Ex-comms aide Jason Knauf, left, was in contact with biographers according to emails revealed in court (Picture: Splash News)
The Duchess added that had she known about the emails she would have been ‘more than happy to refer to them’ as ‘strongly’ supportive of her case and said stress resulting from pregnancy and the aftermath of her miscarriage may have contributed to the error.
The court heard this week that Meghan and Harry’s former communications secretary Jason Knauf provided information to the authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand.
In a witness statement, Mr Knauf said the book was ‘discussed on a routine basis’, which was ‘discussed directly with the duchess multiple times in person and over email’.
Mr Knauff said he had been briefed by Meghan with information to share with the author, including how she had ‘very minimal contact’ with her half-siblings in childhood, and planning a meeting was discussed.
Emails released as part of Mr Knauf’s statement showed he had emailed Harry to discuss the book and to say he would meet the authors.According to the former aide, the duke replied: ‘I totally agree that we have to be able to say we didn’t have anything to do with it.
FILE – In this Jan. 7, 2020, file photo, Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex leave Canada House in London. Six months after detangling their work lives from the British royal family, the couple have signed a multiyear deal with Netflix. According to a statement Wednesday, they plan to produce nature series, documentaries and children???s programming through a new production company. The two recently relocated to Santa Barbara, California, with baby Archie. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File)
Harry and Meghan have been publicly critical of media coverage of the couple and wider Royal Family (Picture: AP)Equally, you giving the right context and background to them would help get some truths out there.’ In her witness statement, made public on Wednesday, Meghan apologised for misleading the court about whether Mr Knauf provided information to Mr Scobie or Ms Durand.
She said: ‘I accept that Mr Knauf did provide some information to the authors for the book and that he did so with my knowledge, for a meeting that he planned for with the authors in his capacity as communications secretary.
‘The extent of the information he shared is unknown to me.When I approved the passage…I did not have the benefit of seeing these emails and I apologise to the court for the fact that I had not remembered these exchanges at the time.
‘I had absolutely no wish or intention to mislead the defendant or the court.’ Meghan added that she would have been ‘more than happy’ to refer to the exchanges with Mr Knauf if she had been aware of them at the time, adding they are ‘a far cry from the very detailed personal information that the defendant alleges that I wanted or permitted to put into the public domain’.
She said she was advised to avoid stress, after her recent miscarriage, which came shortly after ANL indicated it wished to reveal the identities of her five friends who gave an interview to the US magazine, People, in which they referred to her relationship with her father.
Copies of the book Finding Freedom, Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family, by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand displayed in bookstores in London. The book was released on 11th August 2020. Where: London, United Kingdom When: 13 Aug 2020 Credit: Nils Jorgensen/Cover Images All usages and enquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org – +44 (0)20 3397 3000 The biography has been referred to during the court hearing (Picture: Nils Jorgensen/Cover Images)
Meghan said: ‘I was in the first trimester of my third pregnancy at the time, having suffered a miscarriage a few months prior, and was feeling very unwell.
‘My doctor advised me to avoid stress, particularly given the recent miscarriage days after the defendant threatened to break the confidentiality of the original ‘sources’ for the People magazine article, which resulted in my having to make an urgent application for an anonymity order.
‘This was granted …
But I found the process extremely stressful, and it took its toll physically and emotionally.
‘I have at all times wanted to protect the privacy of those friends, while the defendant was, it seemed to me, doing everything it could to make this litigation as intrusive as possible.’