Meghan Markle's Palace Aides May Testify In Court To 'Shed Some Light' Into The Draft Of Her Letter
On the second day of Meghan Markle's court case, it was revealed that her former palace aides may have to take the stand if the case goes to trial.
Markle is suing Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL), the publishers behind Mail On Sunday and MailOnline, for breach of privacy, as they published extracts from the letter that she sent to her estranged father, Thomas, in 2018.
The former royal's legal team has applied for a summary judgement, which would mean the case can be resolved without a trial or witnesses. However, ANL claims she penned the letter "with a view to it being disclosed publicly at some future point," therefore, this case is "wholly unsuitable for summary judgment."
During day two of the trial, the publisher's attorney Antony White hinted that Markle and Prince Harry's aides, known as the Palace Four, should be involved in the court case, as a letter written on their behalf claimed they could "shed some light" into Markle's drafting of the note.
White believes that the staff helped Markle write the letter, which could mean that they knew it would one day go public.
The Palace Four consisted of communications secretary Jason Knauf, former communications staffer Christian Jones, former private secretary Samantha Cohen and former director of communications Sara Latham.
The aides' letter, which was written on their behalf by a lawyer, stated that their legal team's "preliminary view is that one or more of our clients would be in a position to shed some light" on "the creation of [Markle's] letter and the electronic draft."
It also noted that the Palace Four do not "wish to take sides in the dispute between your respective clients. Our clients are all strictly neutral."
White argued that the lawyers' note prove "further oral evidence and documentary evidence is likely to be available at trial which would shed light on certain key factual issues in this case."
Markle's laywer Justin Rushbrooke countered that the aides' letter "contains no information at all that supports the defendant's case on alleged co-authorship (of Meghan's letter), and no indication that evidence will be forthcoming that will support the defendant's case should the matter proceed to trial."
Rushbrooke continued: "The only information that has been provided is that one or more of the Palace Four could 'shed some light' on the creation of the letter and the electronic draft. The court is not told what that light might be. This is far from information that will support the defendant's case.
"It is equally consistent with the Palace Four supporting the claimant's case by confirming that none of them had any involvement in the creation of the letter or the electronic draft and/or that Jason Knauf provided feedback on a draft of the electronic draft but no actual wording."
As court concluded on January 20, Mr. Justice Warby reserved his judgment, but would announce his stance "as soon as possible."