Unseen text messages showing the breakdown of Meghan Markle’s relationship with her father, Thomas Markle - who claims his daughter ‘wrote him off’ - have been published in court documents.
They form part of the paper’s defense for publishing a letter from the Duchess to her estranged dad in February 2019, with the former lighting director reportedly set to testify against his daughter during proceedings.
Meghan and Thomas’s private texts
The texts between Meghan, 38, and her 75-year-old father show how they fell out in the run-up to her 2018 wedding to Harry, which Thomas claimed he was unable to attend due to health reasons.
According to defense papers seen by Yahoo News U.K., bride-to-be Meghan admonished her father for saying he could not travel from his home in Mexico to London in order to walk her down the aisle.
On May 10, nine days before the nuptials, Thomas texted Meghan thanking her for clothes she had bought for him to wear to the service at Windsor Castle, legal documents filed this week say.
“I look forward to trying on my shoes and see how we look thank you for getting it ready for me its [sic] probably past your bedtime so have a good night. I love you Dad,” he wrote.
On May 16, Thomas had an emergency operation to unblock two arteries to his heart after which he texted his daughter to say that doctors would not allow him to fly, according to Daily Mail.
According to court documents, also quoted in the Mail, “he received a text response signed ‘Love M and H,’ but which read as if it was from Prince Harry, (amongst other things) admonishing Mr Markle for talking to the press and telling him to stop and accusing Mr Markle of causing hurt to his daughter.
“The text did not ask how the surgical procedure had gone or how Mr Markle was or send him good wishes.”
Thomas ‘written off’ by daughter
The newspaper quotes defense papers as showing that Thomas replied by writing, “I’ve done nothing to hurt you, Meghan or anyone else, I know nothing about 20 phone calls. I'm sorry my heart attack is … any inconvenience for you.”
The court papers say Thomas received no reply and Meghan did not speak to him again before the wedding, though the Mail said he continued to try and make contact.
In November 2018, court papers quoted by the Mail said Thomas texted her to say, “I want to reach out to you or try to reach out to you one more time.
“You apparently have just written me off and now it's telling me I guess for the rest of my life?”
Daily Mail reports legal documents saying he received no response, and has not heard from Meghan since then, nor been introduced to Prince Harry or grandson Archie.
Markle vs. Markle
The publishing of Meghan and her father’s text messages comes as Thomas prepares to testify against his daughter during the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s upcoming legal fight with Mail on Sunday.
Mail on Sunday and its parent company, Associated Newspapers, are accused of unlawfully publishing a letter from Meghan to her father in February 2019.
The paper argues the publication was justified because there is a “huge and legitimate” public interest in the “personal relationships” of members of the royal family.
Legal documents reveal Mail On Sunday will rely on evidence from Thomas, including that he “had a weighty right to tell his version of what had happened between himself and his daughter including the contents of the letter”.
It means should the case go to trial, both Meghan and her father could be called to testify against one another, with the paper's sister publication, Daily Mail, reporting Thomas would be prepared to face her in court.
The Duchess’s half-sister, Samantha Markle, insists their father will testify in the case if asked to, telling BBC, “If he is called, he will come”.
The letter of the law
Meghan wrote the letter at the center of the upcoming court case to Thomas in August 2018, in which she accuses her father of “turning a blind eye to the pain” he caused by speaking to the media.
“Your actions have broken my heart into a million pieces – not simply because you have manufactured such unnecessary and unwarranted pain, but by making the choice to not tell the truth as you are puppeteered in this. Something I will never understand,” she wrote.
Earlier that year, Thomas was caught allegedly staging paparazzi photographs of himself and commenting regularly to entertainment website TMZ about his contact with his daughter.
In February 2019, Mail On Sunday published extracts of Meghan's handwritten letter and eight months later the Duke and Duchess announced legal action against the paper.
The royal couple cited the misuse of private information, infringement of copyright and breach of the Data Protection Act 2018, and stated the lawsuit will be paid for privately.
Schillings, the legal firm representing the couple, called the letter’s publication “part of a campaign by this media group to publish false and deliberately derogatory stories about her, as well as her husband”.
Mail On Sunday claims the duchess “did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy” and that the letter’s existence was already in the public domain due to an earlier article by People magazine.
The paper added that it would stand by the story and denied editing the letter to change its meaning.
Additional reporting by Will Taylor and Andy Wells.
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