Duchess of Sussex apologizes to court for forgetting this! The Duchess of Sussex has apologized to the British court for failing to remember that she authorized a senior aide to brief the authors of her biography.
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The Duchess, who has previously insisted through lawyers that there was no collaboration with the authors of Finding Freedom, said she had forgotten email exchanges with her then-press secretary Jason Knauf about a meeting.
In a witness statement to the Court of Appeal, Mr. Knauf said the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had “authorized specific cooperation in writing” in December 2018.
Emails show that Mr. Knauf advised that putting the authors of the book, Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, in touch with the Duchess’s friends was “not a good idea”, telling them: “Being able to say hand on heart that we did not facilitate access will be important.”
The Duke, in reply, said “I totally agree that we have to be able to say we didn’t have anything to do with it”, but added: “Equally, you giving the right context and background to them would help get some truths out there.”
A list of briefing points sent by the Duchess to Mr. Knauf to discuss with the authors included information on her relationship with her half-siblings and father and details of a row over her wedding tiara.
The Duke wrote: “Also, are u planning on giving them a rough idea of what she’s been through over the last 2yrs? Media onslaught, cyberbullying on a different scale, puppeteering Thomas Markle, etc etc etc.
“Even if they choose not to use it, they should hear what it was like from someone who was in the thick of it. So if you aren’t planning on telling them, can I ?!”
In her new witness statement, having seen the written evidence provided by her former aide, the Duchess accepted that Mr. Knauf did brief the authors of Finding Freedom and did so with her knowledge.
“I apologize to the Court for the fact that I had not remembered these exchanges at the time,” she said. “I had absolutely no wish or intention to mislead the Defendant or the Court.”
In fact, she said, had she known about the emails she would have been “more than happy to refer to them” as “strongly” supporting of her case.
“Not only do I refer to the background information shared with Mr Knauf as “reminders”, as much of it was information that he had already requested of me dating back to 2016 when he had asked me for a timeline relating to my family to enable him to engage with the media on inquiries, it is also a far cry from the very detailed personal information that the Defendant alleges that I wanted or permitted to put into the public domain.”
Saying there was no mention of the letter in the briefing points she shared with him, the Duchess added: “Had I wanted to have my private letter shared in this book, as the defendant falsely claims, this clearly would have been an opportunity to do so.”
Duchess called her father ‘Daddy’ in letter believing it would ‘pull at heartstrings’ if leaked, court hears
The Duchess of Sussex deliberately addressed her estranged father as “Daddy” in a handwritten letter, believing it would “pull at the heartstrings” in the event it was leaked, the Court of Appeal has heard.
The Duchess, writing in text messages to her then-Communications Secretary, said she had “obviously” written the letter “with the understanding that it could be leaked”, being “meticulous” in her choice of words.
If Thomas Markle leaked it, she said, “at least the world will know the truth”, adding they were words she could “never voice publicly” herself.
The Duchess’s texts were revealed in the Court of Appeal, as the Mail on Sunday argues the privacy, copyright, and data protection case involving the letter from Meghan to her father should be sent to trial.
Jason Knauf, a former senior aide at Kensington Palace, has provided a witness statement to the court, which the Mail on Sunday’s publisher argued proves the Duchess knew the letter was likely to be published.
In texts read out in court, the Duchess said: “Obviously everything I’ve drafted is with the understanding that it could be leaked, so I have been meticulous in my word choice. But please do let me know if anything stands out for you as a liability.”
A second message reads: “Given I’ve only ever called him Daddy, it may make sense to open as such despite him being less than paternal. And in the unfortunate event that it leaked, it would pull at the heartstrings.”