Meghan Markle Claims Her Father "Ignored or Declined" Her Calls in New Court Documents

Victoria Murphy

From Town & Country

The latest court documents filed by Meghan’s legal team in her privacy case against the publisher of the Mail on Sunday have attracted attention for their claim that she was “unprotected” from “false” media stories while pregnant. However, the legal filing also sees the Duchess disclose new information about her communication with her father in the run-up to her May 2018 wedding, including specifics of efforts she says she made to contact him and details of plans to bring him to the UK.

The filings claim that Meghan “attempted contact with her father up until the day of her wedding” and denies that she blocked Thomas Markle’s calls after the wedding or changed her number. The documents outline plans she says were made to take him to Los Angeles from his home in Mexico “in order to avoid the press harassment he was complaining about” then bring him to the UK, saying his flights to London were scheduled for May 16, three days before the wedding.

Photo credit: WPA Pool - Getty Images
Photo credit: WPA Pool - Getty Images

“Friend A witnessed the Claimant’s many calls to her father during the week of the wedding, from Nottingham Cottage, as well as from wedding rehearsals and pre-wedding events in Windsor and from Windsor Castle, all of which were ignored or declined,” the documents claim, continuing: “The facts remain that: the Claimant called her father multiple times during the week of the wedding (all of which were ignored), that she did not change her phone number, nor block his number from calling her...”

The documents detail arrangements Meghan says she made for Thomas Markle, including his outfit for the wedding and his accommodation in London, claiming:

“The Claimant took care to consider and to organise everything her father may need from all clothing items for each scheduled event, to accommodations, all transports, and a dedicated assistant on the ground to be with him during his time in the UK.”

In another section of the documents, in response to a request from Associated Newspapers Limited to outline calls made to her father once she learned of his cardiac issues, the filing reads:

“To the best of the Claimant’s knowledge the position is that after her father made her aware of his cardiac issues, via text message, on 15th May 2018, she subsequently telephoned him on at least five occasions without him answering.”

The final response in the document claims:

“When Mr Markle publicly announced that he fell ill, the Claimant sent a security team to take him to hospital (which he declined), and subsequently to go to his hospital to drive him home safely once he was discharged (which he again declined)...As to his stay in hospital, the Claimant telephoned and messaged him repeatedly to speak to him personally, with concerns for his health, but he declined to take her calls.”

The documents also say that there is "further detail" to come in a witness statement from Meghan.

The Duchess is suing Associated Newspapers Limited for the alleged breach of privacy, infringement of copyright, and breach of the Data Protection Act 2018 after it published extracts of a letter she wrote to Thomas Markle. The publisher has said it will be defending the case “vigorously.” The newspaper group has claimed in its defense that the Duchess “did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy that the contents of the letter were private and would remain so.” It also argued that the publication followed a “one-sided” article in People where Meghan’s friends anonymously first revealed its existence.

Meghan lost the first stage of the legal battle in May when Justice Warby ruled in favor of the publisher and struck out parts of her claim against them. The trial is expected to take place later this year but no date has yet been set.

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