Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were thought to be listening in from Los Angeles as the first court hearing in her lawsuit against the Mail on Sunday began Friday.
Meghan is suing the paper and its parent company, Associated Newspapers, for publishing a letter she wrote to her father Thomas Markle. The civil lawsuit accuses the newspaper of copyright infringement, misuse of private information, and violating the U.K.’s data protection law with the publication of the letter.
According to the Mirror, the court heard Friday that Meghan hadn’t spoken to her father since her wedding to Harry in May 2018.
Meghan wrote the letter in question to her father in August 2018 and sections of it were reproduced in the newspaper and online in February last year.
Judge Mr Justice Warby presided over the proceedings at the High Court, with Antony White QC, for Associated Newspapers, setting out the paper’s case, while lawyer David Sherborne took the stand for Meghan.
The Mirror stated White QC asked the court to strike out parts of Meghan’s case, saying it’s “curious” that the newspaper is accused of “harassing, humiliating, manipulating and exploiting” “vulnerable” Thomas Markle, when Meghan seemingly hasn’t been in touch with her dad to see if he agrees with the allegations.
White QC also told “the pre-trial hearing that nine articles relied on as part of the duchess’ damages plea should be struck from her claim because she is not suing over them.”
Sherborne argued the newspaper “stirred up” a dispute between Meghan and her father, pointing out their relationship was “particularly warm” before “this dispute.”
He claimed the defendant “published private and highly sensitive information about the duchess’ life to ‘satisfy the curiosity’ of its readers when there was no public interest.”
Sherborne told the judge of the newspaper not including the full letter: “Despite these deliberate omissions the defendant sought to deceive the public by stating it was the full letter.
“This was completely untrue and highly misleading as the defendant knew full well.”
He added: “If that isn’t dishonesty I’m not entirely sure what honesty is.”
The case continues.