Why Meghan Markle Texts Released by Bullying Accusation Aide Did Not Swing Lawsuit

Meghan Markle's victory in her privacy lawsuit was upheld by an appeals court, as the judges ruled that bombshell texts and emails exposed by a former aide didn't "bear on the issues."

The Duchess of Sussex endured an attack on her credibility and was forced to apologize for misleading the court in past filings at a hearing last month.

Messages revealed that she did authorize communications secretary Jason Knauf to co-operate with biography Finding Freedom, despite past denials, and that she had written a letter to her father with the knowledge that it might become public.

She filed the privacy and copyright lawsuit after the letter was published by U.K. tabloid The Mail on Sunday. She won because the Court of Appeal judged the newspaper had quoted too extensively from the five-page note written in expert calligraphy.

Meghan, the judges ruled, may have simply suffered "an unfortunate lapse of memory."

The judgement read: "After service of Mr Knauf's evidence, disclosing that he had provided some information to the Authors of the Book with her knowledge, the Duchess said in a witness statement that, when she had approved the pleading, she had not had the benefit of seeing the relevant emails, and apologised to the court for the fact that she had not remembered the relevant exchanges at the time.

"This was, at best, an unfortunate lapse of memory on her part, but it does
not seem to me to bear on the issues raised in the grounds of appeal, and it has been given no prominence in Associated Newspapers' oral argument."

Knauf is the same former Kensington Palace staffer who accused her of bullying two PAs out of the royal household in an email in October 2018, two months after Meghan sent her letter.

His email was leaked to U.K. broadsheet The Times in February, days before Meghan and Prince Harry's Oprah Winfrey interview.

Knauf handed over text messages and emails related to the letter and Finding Freedom and they were released by the Court of Appeal during a hearing in November.

Meghan authorized Knauf to cooperate with the biography in messages dating back to 2018, two years before its publication in summer 2020.

Meghan wrote: "Thank you very much for the info below - for when you sit down with them [the book's authors] it may be helpful to have some background reminders so I've included them below just in case.

"I know you are better versed at this than most but assisting where I can. I appreciate your support—please let me know if you need me to fill in any other blanks."

The Duchess included detailed briefing notes, which included accusations her half sister Samantha Markle was a bad mother.

A message from Prince Harry to Knauf read: "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."

He added: "Also, are u planning on giving them a rough idea of what she's been through over the last 2yrs? Media onslaught, cyber bullying 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?!"

Risk Letter Would Be Leaked

Meghan sent Knauf a draft of the letter alongside texts acknowledging she understood it might be leaked.

She wrote: "Honestly Jason, I feel fantastic, cathartic and real and honest and factual.

"If he leaks it then that's on his conscience but at least the world will know the truth, words I could never voice publicly."

The judgement added: "It is plain from Mr Knauf's evidence that the claimant did
not want the contents of the letter put into the public domain even if she was prepared for the possibility that it might become public."

The newspaper argued Thomas Markle had a right to correct the record after an inaccurate account of Meghan's letter was given by five anonymous friends of Meghan's to People magazine.

The newspaper could have demonstrated the point with a single paragraph, but instead published around half the material on five handwritten pages, the judges ruled.

A summary of the judgement read: "The Court of Appeal found that the judge had been right to decide that just one paragraph of the Letter could have been justifiably deployed to rebut the allegation in People magazine that the Duchess's Letter was loving, when in fact it was a Letter reprimanding Mr Markle for talking to the press and asking him to stop doing so."

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry Visit Intrepid
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry attend the 2021 Salute To Freedom Gala at Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum, in New York, on November 10, 2021. Meghan won a privacy lawsuit against the Mail on Sunday on December 2. Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images