Meghan Markle’s lawsuit against theDaily Mail and Mail on Sunday‘s publisher Associated Newspapers continues, with the Duchess of Sussex’s lawyers filing new court documents that extensively detail why multiple stories the outlet published about Meghan over the past couple years are libelous; that is, false and published with the intention of making Meghan look bad. Byline Investigates broke the news and published excerpts from the court papers.
The lawyers pointed out that only excerpts of Meghan’s personal letter to her father Thomas Markle were published by the Mail on Sunday, not the full letter, as the outlet misrepresented it.
The document clarified Meghan’s actual relationship with her father, writing that despite claims to the contrary, the Duchess did help her father leading up to the wedding and did not ignore him after. “The true position is that the Claimant [Meghan] has a long history of looking after her father’s welfare and trying to find solutions to any health problems… she did provide extensive financial support for him, as well as act as primary caregiver for her grandmother… her father did not telephone her to explain that he was not coming to her wedding… her team in Los Angeles did provide him with continued support for which he had expressed gratitude… she had reached out to him prior to the wedding and sought to protect him, as well as to ensure that he would be able to come to the wedding… she did not ignore him afterwards.”
From there, Meghan’s legal team tackled several stories the Daily Mail published about her. The first one they took aim at was a story from 2016: “Harry’s girl is (almost) straight outta Compton: Gang-scarred home of her mother revealed—so will he be dropping by for tea?”
This is all wrong, the legal team wrote: “The statement that the Claimant lived or grew up in Compton (or anywhere near to it) is false. The fact that the Defendant chose to stereotype this entire community as being “plagued by crime and riddled with street gangs” and thereby suggest (in the first few days of her relationship being revealed) that the Claimant came from a crime- ridden neighborhood is completely untrue as well as intended to be divisive. The Claimant will also refer to the fact that the article cites her aunt as living in ‘gang-afflicted Inglewood’ in order to bolster this negative and damaging impression of where this (black) side of her family is said to come from. In fact, Ava Burrow (said to be ‘the actress’’ aunt”) is not her Aunt or any blood relation at all, a fact which if correctly stated would have undermined the narrative which the Defendant was intended to convey.”
Other claims the lawyers spoke out against include the Daily Mail‘s characterization of Meghan as “difficult” when reporting on her aide. The headline was “How Meghan Markle’s Australian aide Samantha ‘the Panther’ Cohen rose from a Brisbane home to Buckingham Palace–before becoming the second aide to walk out on the ‘difficult Duchess.'”
The lawyers wrote: “The suggestion that Samantha Cohen (who was private secretary for both the Duke and Duchess of Sussex) walked out on the Claimant or that she did so because the Claimant was ‘difficult’ to work for (a word used six times in this article) is untrue, as well as damaging. Ms. Cohen, who was a highly respected and dedicated member of Her Majesty the Queen’s staff for sixteen years, personally chose to come out of retirement in order to work for the Claimant. Far from walking out on her, Ms Cohen even extended the original year which she had intended to work for as she wanted to carry on helping the Duke and Duchess with their office. Further, the Claimant’s ‘personal assistant’ was in fact assistant to both the Duke and Duchess, and, contrary to what the Defendant stated in the article, she did not ‘quit’.”
The lawyers also hit back on when the Daily Mail tried to turn Meghan Markle consumption of avocado toast as a gesture of her supporting murder (seriously, this is a thing they did). Their headline was: “How Meghan’s favourite avocado snack–beloved of all millennials–is fuelling human rights abuses, drought and murder.”
The lawyers responded, “The connection made between the fact that the Claimant likes eating avocado and made avocado on toast for a friend who visited her with human rights abuses, murder and environmental devastation is another highly tenuous and deliberately inflammatory one. The suggestion that by liking avocados she is fueling or supporting these extreme occurrences, and therefore is disingenuous about her ‘campaigning for racial equality and female empowerment’, is again as absurd as it is offensive.”
Her lawyers additionally hit back on claims Meghan’s mother wasn’t invited to the Duchess’s New York 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”) and that the shower cost $300,000 (“[it] actually cost a tiny fraction of the $300k falsely stated in the article”).
In regards to Meghan’s home, Frogmore Cottage, there was no yoga studio, copper bath, orangery, tennis court, or guest wing built, despite Daily Mail reports to the contrary. The lawyers pointed out that the outlet’s coverage of Meghan and Harry’s home renovations were clearly intended “to portray the Claimant in a damaging light by suggesting that she had indulged in this series of absurdly lavish renovations, which were in fact false (as the Defendant was informed at the time) and entirely made up.”