Meghan Markle apologized for misleading the U.K. court about cooperating with the authors of Finding Freedom, a biography that came out in 2020.
For the past three years, the former actress, 40, has been embroiled in a court battle with Associated Newspaper Ltd. — the company owns the Daily Mail, MailOnline and others. Earlier this year, Meghan won the case, as the judge said the letter she wrote to her father, Thomas Markle, in 2018 infringed on her copyright. But this week, the tabloid appealed the decision.
Now, Meghan's former aide Jason Knauf is coming forward about his conversation with the TV star and Prince Harry, where he made them aware of the biography.
In a witness statement, Knauf said the book was “discussed directly with the Duchess multiple times in person and over email.” He also revealed emails, which showed he told Harry about the tell-all.
Knauf said Harry replied: “I totally agree that we have to be able to say we didn’t have anything to do with it. Equally, you giving the right context and background to them would help get some truths out there.”
In a statement, Meghan accepted “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."
She added that “the extent of the information he shared is unknown to me.”
The mom-of-two said she didn't remember having conversations with Knauf when she gave evidence earlier on.
She stated: “And I apologize 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."
Knauf also said Meghan knew what she was doing when she wrote to her estranged father.
"When the Duchess was considering how to handle Mr. Markle's increasing public interventions — both for concerns about his welfare and also to protect her reputation — she explored options for written communication that might convince him to stop giving interviews, but that could also set the record straight if he gave them to the media," Knauf claimed. "The Duchess said she was writing the letter in part to allow the Duke to demonstrate to his family that some action was being taken by the couple to stop Mr. Markle from continuing to engage with the media. She added that '...while unlikely perhaps it will also give my father a moment to pause.'"
He continued, "She asked me to review the text of the letter, saying 'obviously everything I have 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.' On the specific issue of the letter, the Duchess indicated in messages to me that she recognized that it was possible that Mr. Markle would make the letter public. She wanted to write a letter rather than an email or text message — other options she had considered and discussed with senior Royal Household staff — as a letter could not be forwarded or cut and pasted to only share one small portion."