Former royal aides’ Meghan ‘regret’ over not speaking out earlier


THREE former royal aides still hold important evidence about the Duchess of Sussex in a privacy case, the Court of Appeal heard yesterday. A fourth – Jason Knauf – “regretted” not speaking out earlier, it was said. A newspaper asked that the so-called Palace Four be witnesses in a full trial if the High Court rules its way. It is challenging a summary judgment that it was a breach of privacy and copyright to publish Meghan’s personal letter to her estranged father in August 2018.



The ex-aides include Samantha Cohen, Christian Jones and Sara Latham. Mr Knauf, Meghan and Harry’s former communications secretary, is said to have regretted not giving evidence earlier. His witness statement to the court on Wednesday revealed Meghan crafted the letter to pull at heartstrings if it was ever published.



The letter later appeared in the Mail on Sunday. Yesterday Andrew Caldecott QC, representing Associated Newspapers, said the other three aides had declined to give statements. But he added: “You don’t say I can help and then turn the lights off.” Meghan, 40, has always insisted she did not want the letter published.



The court will rule on the appeal at a later date. Meanwhile, Harry joked he was living the “American dream” when he and his wife joined a banquet honouring military veterans in New York.



‘She’s betrayed public trust!’ Meghan Markle faces backlash over court case apology

MEGHAN Markle has been facing a backlash after being forced to apologise to the Court of Appeal for claiming she had not contributed in any way to the drafting of the controversial biography Finding Freedom.



Meghan Markle had previously claimed she had played no role in the drafting of the book. But on Thursday, the Duchess of Sussex issued an apology to the Court of Appeals for “forgetting” about authorising a former aide to brief the authors of Finding Freedom. Jeremy Vine caller Michael questioned the Duchess’s U-turn, claiming she had “betrayed the public’s trust” with her conduct.



Michael said: “It’s consistent. She’s always been full of soundbites and the classic was when she first became involved with the Royal Family. “They ran a documentary about her life on TV and she made a speech, or a speech was broadcast that she’d made, where she was praising her father for all his support through her education. “Later on, they showed another speech where she was at a some women’s organization, and therefore suited not to include her father, where she airbrushed the father out claiming she had to work to finance her education, which was a contradiction.”



Presenter Jeremy Vine however offered a counterargument to Michael’s claims, saying: “You’ve been following it closely. We’ve mentioned it, this is bad. “She said she hadn’t cooperated then she said she forgot and she did. However, there are defenders of Meghan who say this is all motivated by people who don’t like Americans, don’t like people of colour, don’t like people who come from another country and marry into the Royal Family.



“What do you say to that?”

But citing Vine panelists Cristo Foufas, Michael renewed his claims: “They’re blind. Cristo was saying, by and large, the media initially were favorable and supportive of her. “That was basically true, and that was true of the public. And she betrayed the public’s trust in her. “How can you forget you had significant phone calls, emails, meetings, discussions on such a serious topic?”



Following the publication of Finding Freedom, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry distanced themselves from the biography, claiming they had played no part in the writing process. However, the Sussexes former communications secretary Jason Knauf contradicted the claim in a bombshell statement to the Court of Appeals.



Mr Knauf, who is now working as chief executive of Prince William and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge’s charitable foundation, said the authors of the books had been briefed at Harry and Meghan’s request. He also claimed he had had several conversations with both Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand during the drafting process.



Mr Knauf said: “While the authors discussed it with me as part of normal contact with the Kensington Palace press office, the Duke and Duchess later authorised specific cooperation in writing in December 2018.” The former aide detailed conversations he claimed to have had with both the Duke and Duchess of Sussex about providing the authors with information as the couple tried to avoid having direct contact with them.



In a witness statement, which like Mr Knauf’s was made public by lawyers after a request from the media, Meghan apologised. She said: “In the light of the information and documents that Mr Knauf has provided, 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.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here