Meghan Markle lawyers have ‘a lot of work to do’ as Duchess of Sussex legal battle looms

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Meghan Markle, 39, is suing Associated Newspapers Ltd (ANL), publisher of the Mail On Sunday and MailOnline, over an article which reproduced parts of the handwritten letter sent to Thomas Markle, 76, in August 2018. Royal commentator Rachel Bowie has claimed the Duchess of Sussex’s lawyers have “a lot of work to do”. She noted that Omid Scobie’s unofficial biography on the royal couple, Finding Freedom, will be included in the case.

Speaking on the Royally Obsessed podcast, Ms Bowie said: “We do know that Finding Freedom is allowed to be included in the case.

“Her lawyers do have a lot more work to go through and defend all the claims in the book or say this is why it Meghan wasn’t speaking to the authors.

“But Meghan’s lawyers did try to appeal the decision to include Finding Freedom in this recent hearing and that was denied by the judge.”

At a High Court hearing in London on last week, attended remotely by lawyers and members of the press, Mr Justice Warby agreed to adjourn the trial – which was due to start on January 11 next year – until the autumn following an earlier private hearing.

Finding Freedom, a book by royal authors Carolyn Durand and Omid Scobie, was published in August and contains intimate details of the couple as well as their relationship with the Royal Family.

The judge, Master Kaye of the Chancery Division, said the amended defence did not raise “new defences”, but simply added “further particulars” of the case of Associated Newspapers.

She added Meghan “knows the case she has to meet” and that “there is no suggestion that she is in fact unable to do so”.

The publisher first asked for permission to amend its written defence last week.

During a preliminary hearing, lawyers representing Associated Newspapers said they wanted to modify their defence to Meghan’s case to argue the Sussexes “co-operated” with the authors of Finding Freedom.

Associated Newspapers claimed the Duchess provided the authors of the book with information about the letter she sent to her estranged father “in order to set out her own version of events in a way that is favourable to her”.

Meghan’s lawyers said accusations the Duke and Duchess “collaborated” with the authors represented a “conspiracy theory”.


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The Duchess’ representatives also said references to the letter in the book were simply “extracts from the letter lifted from the defendant’s own articles”.

Meghan and Harry already distanced themselves from the book days before it was due to be released.

A statement by a spokesman for the Sussexes said: “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were not interviewed and did not contribute to Finding Freedom.

“This book is based on the authors’ own experiences as members of the royal press corps and their own independent reporting.”

The authors themselves said they did not work with the couple on this book but rather spoke with dozens of sources, friends of the Sussexes and palace aides.

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