5 bombshell 'contradictions' in Meghan Markle's legal battle that punched holes in her story

MEGHAN Markle has today won her legal battle against the Mail on Sunday despite bombshell messages revealing five alleged contradictions in her court claims.

The Duchess of Sussex has blasted the newspaper for “twisting facts and manipulating the public” – as we reveal her own inconsistencies in the case.

Her credibility was threatened after the explosive evidence was submitted to the High Court by Associated Newspapers in November.

Meghan, 40, was forced to apologise to the Court of Appeal last month after failing to tell a judge that she tried to influence royal biography Finding Freedom.

Publishers Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL) launched an appeal against the ruling – arguing the judge was not aware of all the facts at the time.

But judges at the Court of Appeal today ruled in Meghan's favour and dismissed the appeal.

Their judgment read: "The Court of Appeal upheld the judge's decision that the duchess had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the contents of the letter.

"Those contents were personal, private and not matters of legitimate public interest.

"The articles in the Mail on Sunday interfered with the duchess' reasonable expectation of privacy and were not a justified or proportionate means of correcting inaccuracies about the letter."

During the appeal texts and emails between Meghan and her former communications secretary Jason Knauf threatened to destroy her reputation.

The newspaper published extracts of a five-page private letter she'd written to Thomas Markle begging him not to speak to the media about her in 2018.

We review the five alleged contradictions that emerged from Meghan's messages during the appeal.


Meghan previously claimed she did not know whether her communications team had given information to the Finding Freedom authors and insisted she had not been contacted by aides for "clarification of any matters relating to the book".

But she apologised in November after it was revealed she had shared email exchanges with Mr Knauf over the biography.

She told the court she "had not remembered" giving Mr Knauf authorisation to brief authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand.

Mr Justice Warby issued a summary judgment in February – meaning she won her privacy claim without a trial.

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It now appears the judge was not aware of all the facts with Meghan blaming a memory lapse for misleading the court.

She said she had "absolutely no wish or intention to mislead the defendant or the court" but accepted Mr Knauf had offered information for the book "with my knowledge".

But the Court of Appeal have backed their decision, meaning that Meghan will not have to publicly testify and even come face-to-face with her father.


The emails between her and Mr Knauf show the aide sat down for two hours with the Finding Freedom writers to discuss a string of "briefing points" Meghan wanted him to share.

These included personal stories about Meghan's family – including how her half-sister Samantha "had lost custody of all three of her children from different fathers".

He wrote to Meghan: "I took them through everything. They are going to time the book for the run-up to the baby being born and it is going to be very positive.

"They are prioritising the US market and will position it as a celebration of you that corrects the record on a number of fronts.

"I will stay in close contact with them."

Mr Knauf also claimed in his witness statement he "authorised specific cooperation in writing in December 2018" to the book's authors.

He said "the book was discussed directly with the Duchess multiple times in person and over email".

But Mr Knauf said as far as he knows neither Harry or Meghan met directly with the authors during his time as press secretary.


In the "heartfelt" letter to Thomas Markle, Meghan made reference to his ill-health.

Her pals said that following her wedding to Harry in 2018, the Duchess made a series of “worried” phone calls to her father over his health.

And in the week before the nuptials Meghan released her first solo statement from the Palace, saying: “Sadly, my father will not be attending our wedding."

The text messages show the reference to Mr Markle's health was actually suggested to Meghan by Jason Knauf.

He tells the royal he thinks it is "essential" to address his "heart attack" as it is his "best opening for criticism and sympathy".

Meghan replies saying it is a "very valid point" and says she will attempt to squeeze it into the five page, 1,250-word letter.

She writes: "Will redraft one page and try to fit it in".


During the High Court hearing in January, Meghan said she felt forced to write the letter to her dad after they reached “breaking point”.

Her barrister told the court: "It was written, in short, by daughter who felt she had reached a breaking point with her father."

But the court heard allegations there was another motive behind the letter to Thomas Markle.

She claimed that her “catalyst” for doing so was “seeing how much pain” the situation was causing Harry.

Meghan added: "Even after a week with his dad and endlessly explaining the situation, his family seem to forget the context and revert to 'can't she just go and see him and make this stop?'

"They fundamentally don't understand so at least by writing [Harry] will be able to say to his family, 'she wrote him a letter and he's still doing it'.

"By taking this form of action I protect my husband from this constant berating and while unlikely, perhaps it will give my father a moment to pause."


Meghan deliberately called Mr Markle "daddy" in the handwritten letter as she believed it would "pull at the heartstrings" if the public saw it.

Mr Knauf outlined how the Duchess said she had been "meticulous" in her wording in the private letter as she had "obviously" written it "with the understanding that it could be leaked".

Meghan claims in her statement she did not think it was likely to reach the public but recognised it was a "possibility".

Meghan later text Mr Knauf again, saying: "Honestly Jason, I feel fantastic.

"Cathartic and real and honest and factual. And if he leaks it then that's on his conscience. 

"And at least the world will know the truth, words I could never voice." 

Lawyers for Associated Newspapers argued that the fear of a leak undermines Meghan's expectation of privacy.

They also believe it was in the public interest for the contents of the letter to be published, but their appeal has now been rejected.

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