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Great Britain

Meghan Markle addresses relationship with father in court filings against 'untrue' tabloid stories

Meghan Markle is taking legal action against specific tabloid stories regarding her relationship with her father, according to new court documents. 

The documents, which were submitted by the Duchess of Sussex’s legal team in her case against Associated Newspapers, the owner of the Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday, were filed on 11 November and detail specific accusations against the newspaper. 

In the documents, it is claimed that the paper published a “private and confidential” letter Meghan had written to her father, Thomas Markle, during a “time of great personal anguish and distress”.

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The papers, submitted by Schillings law firm, also claim that the Mail on Sunday printed only a portion of the letter, which was published in February, and by doing so “intentionally distorted or manipulated” its context in an effort to portray Meghan “negatively”.

“The claimant intended the detailed contents of the letter to be private, and certainly did not expect them to be published to the world at large by a national newspaper, and without any warning,” the documents reportedly state, adding that the omitted parts of the letter “demonstrate the claimant’s care for her father and others”.

Meghan’s relationship with her mother, Doria Ragland, is referenced as well, with the documents refuting claims that Ragland was not invited to the duchess’s baby shower.

“The claimant’s mother was of course invited, and the claimant also offered to buy her airline tickets. However, her mother was unable to attend due to work commitments,” the lawyers stated.

The filing also describes the stories published about the couple’s renovations to their Windsor home, Frogmore Cottage, as “completely untrue,” including claims that the couple added a £5,000 copper bath and £500,000 worth of soundproofing with taxpayer money.

Last month, Meghan and Prince Harry announced they would be suing the Mail on Sunday after the newspaper allegedly unlawfully published the duchess’s private letter.

At the time, the Duke of Sussex said the couple had been driven to legal action because of the impact of the “relentless propaganda” against his wife, which he compared to the press coverage of his late mother, Princess Diana. 

He wrote: “I’ve seen what happens when someone I love is commoditised to the point that they are no longer treated or seen as a real person.

“I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces.”

In response to the legal filings, the Mail on Sunday said it intends to defend the case “with vigour”.

“There is nothing in this document which changes that position,” a spokesperson for the newspaper told the BBC.

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