Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and her husband, Prince Harry, have been experiencing a constant barrage of negative press these past few years. The couple even ended up suing a few tabloid newspapers for invading their privacy and attacking their image.
Recently, a book about Meghan and Harry called Finding Freedom was released. Although Meghan and Harry’s team have maintained the couple did not help write the book, it still tells a pro-Sussex narrative that helps to counter the negative news about them in the media. However, some experts believe Finding Freedom could also backfire and be used against Meghan and Harry in their tabloid lawsuit.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have denied any involvement in ‘Finding Freedom’
Many people believe Meghan and Harry provided information for the content of Finding Freedom, but the book’s authors, Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, have denied any involvement by the Sussexes.
“The book doesn’t claim to have any interviews with Harry and Meghan. And nor do we,” Scobie told The Times before Finding Freedom’s release.
Meanwhile, Meghan and Harry’s team also issued a statement to USA Today, saying, “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were not interviewed and did not contribute to ‘Finding Freedom.’ This book is based on the authors’ own experiences as members of the royal press corps and their own independent reporting.”
‘Finding Freedom’ could be brought up in Meghan and Harry’s court case
Although Finding Freedom allegedly was not written with information provided by Meghan and Harry, Scobie and Durand did say that their detailed book had many contributions from Meghan and Harry’s friends, aides, and other people close to them. This is how the book could be brought up in the couple’s ongoing tabloid lawsuit.
According to The Daily Beast, since much of Meghan and Harry’s lawsuit centers around the press’ alleged invasion of their privacy, the legal team representing the tabloid newspapers could try to determine whether Meghan and Harry urged anyone to speak on behalf of them for Finding Freedom.
David Hooper, a retired libel lawyer explained to The Daily Beast, “You can talk about very private things… with your friends, that you might not talk to the world at large about and still expect that to remain private. But if you are getting people to speak about these matters on your behalf or if you talk to the authors, that is very different. Do they have a reasonable expectation of privacy if they are, for example, briefing, via friends, the authors of this book?”
Will the book work against Meghan and Harry?
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This afternoon, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attended the annual Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey on Commonwealth Day, alongside Her Majesty The Queen and Members of The Royal Family. The Commonwealth is a global network of 54 countries, working in collaboration towards shared economic, environmental, social and democratic goals, and the Service today seeks to highlight the vast community which spans every geographical region, religion and culture, embracing diversity amongst its population of 2.4 billion people, of which 60 percent are under 30 years old. As President and Vice-President of the @Queens_Commonwealth_Trust, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been passionate advocates of the Commonwealth having spent many years working closely with the next generation of Commonwealth leaders. The theme of the Commonwealth for 2020 is ‘Delivering A Common Future: Connecting, Innovating, Transforming', placing emphasis on youth, the environment, trade, governance, and ICT (Information and Communications Technology) and innovation. From working to protect the earth's natural resources and preserving the planet for generations to come, to championing fair trade and empowering the youth of today to transform the communities of tomorrow, the Service celebrates the Commonwealth's continued commitment to delivering a peaceful, prosperous and more sustainable future for all. Photo © PA
Of course, there is still no confirmation that Finding Freedom will be brought up in court, but Hooper believes “it would make a lot of sense” for the newspapers’ legal team to examine it.
In any case, regardless of the outcome, Hooper thinks Meghan and Harry would still “lose” because of how much information could potentially be dug up about the couple during intensive cross-examinations.
The Daily Beast wrote, “This has always been the ultimate threat that newspapers hold: even if you beat us, the whole experience will be so unpleasant, embarrassing and draining that it’s not worth the candle. “
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