Did not intend to mislead: Meghan Markle apologises to UK court
London, Nov 11: Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, has apologised to a court in London as she declared that she had no intention to mislead the court in her account related to her privacy case against the Mail on Sunday's publishers.
The Court of Appeal, hearing the Associated Newspapers' appeal seeking to overturn a previous judgment in favour of the Duchess, heard she had asked an aide to pass on information to the authors of a biography – despite having earlier said she "did not contribute".
In a witness statement to the court, hearing the case this week, the wife of Prince Harry said she accepted that her aide did provide information to the authors of the book with her knowledge but she said the "extent of the information he shared is unknown to me".
She said: "When I approved the passage... I did not have the benefit of seeing these emails and I apologise to the court for the fact that I had not remembered these exchanges at the time. "I had absolutely no wish or intention to mislead the defendant or the court." Associated Newspapers is trying to overturn a ruling after it published a letter from Markle to her father.
Earlier this year, the 40-year-old now based in the US with Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, had won her privacy case against the publishing house.
The Associated Newspapers legal team are now seeking to overturn the judgment at the Court of Appeal, disputing that this was simply a private and personal letter – and have argued that it was crafted with the "possibility of public consumption" in mind. In new evidence heard on Wednesday, Jason Knauf, the couple's former communications secretary, said the book 'Finding Freedom’ – written by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand – was "discussed on a routine basis" and "discussed directly with the duchess multiple times in person and over email".
The appeal has also challenged the extent to which the letter from Meghan to her father – at the centre of the case – was "private". The publishers’ legal team quoted an exchange of text messages between Markle and Knauf in which Meghan said: "Obviously everything I have drafted is with the understanding that it could be leaked, so I have been meticulous in my word choice."
According to the BBC, Markle told the court in her statement that she would have been "more than happy" to refer to the exchanges with Knauf if she had been aware of them at the time, but said they were "a far cry from the very detailed personal information that the defendant alleges that I wanted or permitted to put into the public domain".
Another reason she gave for not discovering the emails between her and Knauf sooner was that the disclosure stage of the litigation had not yet been reached, and in October last year her lawyers applied to adjourn the trial date as she was pregnant with her second baby – since born and named Lilibet. The case is expected to conclude this week, with a ruling likely to be at a later date.