Back in October, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced that Meghan Markle was suing Associated Newspapers, the publisher of The Daily Mail and The Mail on Sundays, over its coverage of Markle, which they say is biased and untrue. Last week, Markle’s lawyers filed legal documents outlining which of the papers’ claims in particular they were refuting — specifically, rumors about her relationship with her father, her New York City baby shower, and renovations to her and Prince Harry’s home at Frogmore Cottage. According to People, in the papers submitted on November 11, Markle’s lawyers argue that The Daily Mail and The Mail on Sundays published “untrue” stories about her in an attempt to “negatively” portray her to the public.
Perhaps most notable have been the papers’ claims about Markle’s relationship with her father, Thomas, who has given several controversial interviews about her, and admitted to staging paparazzi photos of himself before her wedding. In addition, the Mail published a private letter Markle sent her father shortly after her 2018 wedding to Prince Harry, a decision Markle’s team has strongly condemned. Her lawyers argue that the published letter was heavily edited, and that it omitted “almost half of the actual contents” of the original. These omitted contents, they say, “demonstrate the claimant’s care for her father and others, as well as her concern about the U.K. tabloid media exploiting her father.” (Thomas Markle has recently defended his decision to release portions of the letter to The Daily Mail … in an interview with The Daily Mail.)
Markle also refutes the papers’ claims that her February baby shower in New York City cost $300,000 (It “actually cost a tiny fraction” of that, Markle’s lawyers say); that she did not invite her mother, Doria Ragland, to the event (“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”); and that guests at the shower, like Amal Clooney, Gayle King, and designer Misha Nonoo, were new celebrity friends whom Markle wanted to show off (“The fifteen guests who attended the shower were close friends and included long-term friendships, some of which had existed for over 20 years”).
As for rumors about Markle and Prince Harry’s renovations to Frogmore Cottage, the young couple did landscape the surrounding gardens and install a custom kitchen and a green-energy center, but lawyers deny reports that they installed a $6,500 copper bathtub, $650,000 of aircraft soundproofing, a “self-contained yoga studio,” a tennis court, or an orangery — a greenhouse in which to grow oranges in cool climates.
Prince Harry, meanwhile, is also suing the owners of The Sun and The Mirror for allegedly intercepting voice-mail messages. “There comes a point when the only thing to do is to stand up to this behavior because it destroys people and destroys lives,” he wrote in a letter last month, explaining the couple’s decision to pursue legal action against the tabloids. “I’ve seen what happens when someone I love is commoditized 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.”