Meghan Markle’s father testified in U.K. High Court on Tuesday in her privacy case against the Daily Mail.
In documents obtained by ET Canada, Thomas Markle testified what was his motivation for leaking a handwritten letter from his daughter to the Mail.
In a witness statement, Markle said that he released extracts of the 2018 letter to push back against “lies” that were being stated about him by anonymous friends of the Duchess of Sussex in a People report.
“I believe (and still believe) that Meghan wanted her account of the letter to be published,” stated Markle, 76.
He chose to release extracts rather than the full letter, he said, “because I thought the letter as a whole made Meg look terrible.”
According to Markle, he was “shocked” by the People article, which, he said, “vilified me by making out that I was dishonest, exploitative, publicity-seeking, uncaring and cold-hearted, leaving a loyal and dutiful daughter devastated”.
He had no choice, he said, but “to defend myself against that attack.”
Furthermore, he stated that People‘s report — that she had told him “that she loved me and that she wanted to repair our relationship” — was “false.”
“The letter was not an attempt at a reconciliation. It was a criticism of me. The letter didn’t say she loved me. It did not even ask how I was. It showed no concern about the fact I had suffered a heart attack and asked no questions about my health. It actually signalled the end of our relationship, not a reconciliation,” his statement continued.
“It was wrong for People magazine to say I had lied about Meg shutting me out — she had shut me out, as the letter from her showed.”
His decision to release those excerpts was so people could “read what it said in its own words” because “I did not think anyone would believe me”.