Former palace staffers don’t want to testify in Duchess Meghan’s Daily Mail lawsuit

Meghan Duchess of Sussex makes a visit to Johannesburg, South Africa!

Yesterday, as everyone watched President Biden’s inauguration, Justice Warby was finishing up the Duchess of Sussex’s summary judgment hearing in the High Court. The hearing was a two-day long affair with Meghan’s lawyers representing her and a team of lawyers representing Associated Newspapers (ANL), which operates the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday. The Mail published Meghan’s handwritten letter to her father, and ANL’s lawyers have thrown everything they can to get the court to believe that they were justified in doing so because.. Finding Freedom, or People Magazine. Well, Justice Warby has heard the arguments and he’s going to crunk on it for two weeks or so and we’ll get his ruling on the summary judgment then. Even if Meghan “loses” the summary judgment, that means that the trial will go ahead later this year, likely in November. And at trial, a lot of former and current Kensington Palace staffers could be called in to testify. Which makes this kind of extraordinary.

Four royal aides say they do not wish to “take sides” over a letter from the Duchess of Sussex to her father, the High Court has been told. In a letter lawyers for the four said they believed their clients could “shed some light” on the letter’s drafting but the four were “strictly neutral”.

Meghan’s lawyers are asking for summary judgement – a dismissal of Associated Newspapers’ (ANL) defence instead of a trial. The five articles, published in February 2019, were a “triple-barrelled invasion” of the duchess’s privacy, correspondence and family, the lawyers claim. She is seeking damages from the newspaper group for alleged misuse of private information, copyright infringement and breach of the Data Protection Act over the articles.

ANL claims Meghan wrote her letter “with a view to it being disclosed publicly at some future point” in order to “defend her against charges of being an uncaring or unloving daughter”, which she denies. On the second day of the hearing on Wednesday, ANL’s barrister Antony White QC told the court that a letter from the so-called “palace four” showed that “further oral evidence and documentary evidence is likely to be available at trial which would shed light on certain key factual issues in this case”. He said it was “likely” there was also further evidence about whether Meghan “directly or indirectly provided private information” to the authors of an unauthorised biography of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Finding Freedom.

The four aides are: Jason Knauf, former communications secretary to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Christian Jones, their former deputy communications secretary, Samantha Cohen, formerly the Sussexes’ private secretary, and Sara Latham, their ex-director of communications.

“None of our clients welcomes his or her potential involvement in this litigation, which has arisen purely as a result of the performance of his or her duties in their respective jobs at the material time,” their lawyers said in a letter sent on their behalf. “Nor does any of our clients wish to take sides in the dispute between your respective clients. Our clients are all strictly neutral. They have no interest in assisting either party to the proceedings. Their only interest is in ensuring a level playing field, insofar as any evidence they may be able to give is concerned.”

Their letter said that their lawyers’ “preliminary view is that one or more of our clients would be in a position to shed some light” on “the creation of the letter and the electronic draft”.

It also said they may be able to shed light on “whether or not the claimant anticipated that the letter might come into in the public domain” and whether or not the duchess “directly or indirectly provided private information, generally and in relation to the letter specifically, to the authors of Finding Freedom”.

But Justin Rushbrooke QC, representing the duchess, said the letter from the four “contains no information at all that supports the defendant’s case on alleged co-authorship (of Meghan’s letter), and no indication that evidence will be forthcoming that will support the defendant’s case should the matter proceed to trial”.

[From BBC]

Yeah, ANL’s argument still doesn’t make any sense to me, but obviously I’m not a lawyer. I think the only argument that they *could* make is that the copyright for Meghan’s letter doesn’t belong to her alone, especially if she had significant help writing it with KP staffers. But even then, if the copyright was shared with, say, Jason Knauf… it’s still a copyright violation, the copyright belongs to both Knauf and Meghan and the Mail still didn’t have the right to publish it. But really, it’s extraordinary that these four staffers are all saying that they have no desire to testify for either side. It’s just… very complicated. I feel like the Windsor clan will have to pull some strings to end things in Meghan’s favor, just so all of the palace secrets don’t come spilling out all at once.

Royal Ascot, Portrait of TRH Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex and TRH Meghan the Duchess of Sussex in front of HRH Queen Elizabeth the Second

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, Avalon Red.

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86 Responses to “Former palace staffers don’t want to testify in Duchess Meghan’s Daily Mail lawsuit”

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  1. M says:

    I would love to see Will exposed though.

    • Jegede says:

      But two of these staffers work for the Queen.

      And the MOS editor’s deposition clearly stated he spoke to a member of the Royal Household on this matter just 3 months ago. A person who assured him of BRF’s co-operation.🤨

      No way would a senior staff talk to the press, without greenlight from a senior royal.

      It’s more than just William at this stage.😶😶

      • Kalana says:

        It seems like the Palace may want the trial. Christian Jones and Julian Payne are leaving in good standing with the BRF.

        I really want the name of the source from 3 months ago. Has a single British paper written about this?

      • Becks1 says:

        They work for the Queen now, they did not work for her at the time. Wonder if their promotion was in part due to their cooperation and silence when it came to the Sussexes? Which would be disappointing.

        The part about the senior staffer assuring the MoS editor about cooperation is so enraging to me but I’m not surprised the british press isnt covering it.

      • So disappointed in Latham and Cohen and their “neutrality”.

      • Becks1 says:

        I’m starting to change my thinking here. We’ve been saying that KP doesnt want this to go to trial – and that or may not be true. But its clear the MoS DOES want it to go to trial – it gives them a Sussex story when all other sussex stories have dried up, as far as the british tabloid press goes.

        So maybe this is less about the “senior staffer” assuring MoS that they would cooperate as much as it as about the MoS saying, “we want you to cooperate so we can drag this out, or else we drop ALL the dirt.” We’ve also been saying for a long time now that the BRF is overly beholden to the press and to keeping the press happy, and its a toxic relationship that is going to end up biting the family in the butt. Maybe that time is now – BP, CH, KP all want this to go away, but the Mail is saying “nope, and whats more, you’ll help us, or we’ll spill.”

      • notasugarhere says:

        Good theory, Becks1.

  2. Sofia says:

    Hence why I keep saying that a summary judgement being granted is best for both the palace and Meghan. But the media lose out hence why the palace may have let Christian Jones and Julian Payne go because they fear it might go to trial therefore don’t want current staff testifying.

  3. Merricat says:

    I find this kind of hilarious. Consequences! Good for Meghan for holding firm.

    • FC says:

      If all works out, Meg will have successfully set up the racist BRF to destroy the racist press they so desperately need to remain relevant and rich. Girl knows how to play, lol.

  4. L84Tea says:

    I sort of feel like Meghan wins either way. If she wins the judgement, yay, she wins. But if this goes to trial–even though it would suck and get dragged out and the media would profit from it–and even if by some chance she still didn’t win in the end, it still means alllllllll the tea is gonna get spilled and all those royal rats are going to get exposed. That in itself is a win, especially because they did it to themselves. Oh, how I would love to see Willie get exposed.

  5. Becks1 says:

    ANL is purposely muddying the waters here, but I guess that’s just what you do when you dont really have a solid defense.

    I dont get the FF defense, at all. Even IF Meghan sat down with Omid and told him word-for-word what to write – the book was released a year and a half after the letter was printed and AGAIN, the british press is purposely misunderstanding the word “privacy.” It means you have control over what you share and when and why.

    I do think I saw on twitter that Meghan’s lawyers (actually I think was the judge?) brought up that any involvement in FF may very well have been prompted by the press intrusion, so using FF to justify the press intrusion is a circular argument.

    Its clear the staffers dont want to testify, and I imagine KP et al really REALLY dont want them to, because they know its not going to be as simple as “did you help Meghan write the letter?” There’s going to be a cross-examination and if ANL fights to get those staffers on the stand, I dont think the judge is going to look kindly if they object to every single question from Meghan’s lawyers.

    I think if any staff involvement comes out, its going to tip public opinion decidedly in Meghan’s favor, and the palace does NOT want that – especially the Cambridges.

    • Myra says:

      I think this is what the judge was also questioning as well. This circular argument that a media strategy pursued after the letter was published is justification for a letter to be published, when one thing caused the other in the first place. So I think ANL lawyers wants to use some of the palace four to say that the cooperation with the book happened before. But if they’re saying Sara cooperated with the authors to correct factual information in the book, I don’t see how it makes sense as it was @ABritGuest I believe who pointed out yesterday that Sara wouldn’t have been around when the letter was written.

    • My Two Cents says:

      Becks, the part I don’t get is, if KP doesn’t want them to testify, why did the senior royal household member leak info to the editor of the MOS? Did they do this assuming this would scare Meghan and she would drop the case? and it’s backfired now as she soldiers on? I’m annoyed that no one from the press has mentioned this senior royal leak, it’s pretty big news and everyone is only focusing on the Palace 4, the BBC included. I wrote them a complaint yesterday, asking why they chose to only focus on this part of the court hearing, the part all the rest of the media is focusing on, instead of the leak – i mean, isn’t the bigger story, who is the KP source? why would they do it when they’re ‘supposed’ to be on Meghan’s side etc. I hope they reply back to me lol

      • Sofia says:

        I do want to add that a senior source in the royal household doesn’t mean it was a royal. It just means someone high up in the household that also includes employees such as Private Secretaries.

        But my guess is that the palace never thought the Sussexes would push back let alone sue. Hence why they were so comfortable with talking to the Mail. And now, it’s being made clear she won’t drop her case, panic is setting in hence why the palace doesn’t want any employees testifying.

      • tee says:

        ive had the same thought. the DM would not have a case on this charge and the palace 4 would not have needed representation if this senior royal household source had not given the DM “evidence” of their involvement. either that person has gone rogue, or it was yet another short-sighted miscalculation by the Firm.

      • Becks1 says:

        I think its what you, Sofia and Tee are all saying – that this was a short-sighted miscalculation by the Firm. They did not expect the Sussexes to keep going with this lawsuit. I think the idea of the staffers testifying is supposed to scare Meghan, because I really think the firm is underestimating how bad it will make them look. We know they have a really bad sense of “optics” (I hate that word after Meghan’s baby shower but it does apply here.) They probably think that the possibility of staffers testifying would force Meghan to back down, or IF the staffers testify, it will make KP look good. but I dont think thats how its going to shake out.

      • Abena Asantewaa says:

        In UK, you cannot openly discuss a case till it’s over, you are only allowed to report it, verbatim, that is all, till after judgement. It’s called ‘Subjudacy’
        Meghan being new in the institution, wanted to do things the proper way, so she may have shown the letter to Jason Knauff, because of protocol and Meghan wanting to make sure she has worded everything right, J K Rowling, had editors and proofreaders, but she is the sole author of Harry Potter. Suggesting a word here or there, does not make Jason the author, the fact that, Meghan handwrote the letter, is indisputable that, she is the sole author of the letter. Thank God, Meghan did not print it via computer. If there is any justice at all, she should win. 2Weeks to make a decision on a 2day trial?

    • betsyh says:

      I am not so sure the staffers don’t want to testify. They protest that they do not, but there is a “but”–the but being that they want to ensure a level playing field, that they could shed some light on whether Meghan wanted the letter to be in the public domain. If the staffers say yes she did, then that will undermine Meghan’s case.

      Perhaps whoever is behind asking the staff to leave The Firm wants Meghan’s case to fail so they can put a dent in the Sussex’s popularity.

      • tee says:

        ive had this thought too! sussex supporters want a trial so the “truth” will come out, but who’s to say they won’t just lie? the benefits of protecting the royals outweigh the benefits of supporting meghan. it’s hard to fathom that they’d be willing to basically call meghan a liar, but i would not put it past stewards of that institution.

      • Cecilia says:

        If the staffer says that she wanted the letter out in public that is:
        1. Fairly easy for meghans lawyers to undermine
        2 the staffer would have to provide evidence as to what would make them think she wanted it out in public.
        Remember that meghan isn’t the one on trial, the MoS is so if they want to accuse meghan of something they are going to have to come with evidence, something they haven’t provided.

      • Becks1 says:

        I know I said above that KP really doesnt want the staffers to testify, but see my above comment to MyTwoCents et al. Given the sheer incompetence of KP, I can see them thinking the staffers testifying will be a “win” for KP (which is stupid, because technically KP is not involved in this case, so why are they inserting themselves like this?) but it will end up being pretty bad. So I should amend my statement to “if KP had any sense, they would not want the staffers to testify.”

      • Becks1 says:

        Also – again, the judge brought up the whole “she wants the letter in public domain” argument yesterday, saying that if she did want it to be public and that was so obvious, why didnt the MoS just ask for permission to publish it? The fact that they didnt indicates they thought she would say no, so therefore, it was not intended to be in the public domain. I dont think that’s the slam dunk argument the MoS thinks it is.

      • I agree the right to own one’s own work is important. This case should have been open and shut a year ago. But they are all so invested in tearing Meghan apart and I think the judge is complicit in allowing this to drag out with all the useless and meaningless add-on BS. What in the hell does anything to do with the writing of Finding Freedom have to do with a letter she wrote almost 2 years prior. They act like Meghan does not have the right to her own life and how or to whom she chooses to share it. I’m all for Meghan in this case, but win it or loose it, I don’t think the public gives a damn about it anymore. The Sussexes have moved on and shown us all who they are. The outcome of this case isn’t going to change how the majority of their supporters think about them. And, the flying Twitter monkeys that hate them and 🐀 reporters that tear them down with every breath they take aren’t going to change how they feel about them if she wins.

      • That’s what I read too, BetsyH. They want to testify to give the DM fuel for their case. Otherwise this would just be they’re reporting on their support actions as staff to Meghan.

      • February-Pisces says:

        I think one thing we’ve all forgotten that it isn’t KP on trial either it’s the mail on Sunday. The fact that KP are doing everything they can to support the mos in their case only proves that Meghan was set up. If the staff show any allegiance to the Mos by supporting their case then surly that will show they were not working in meghans best interests. The MOS need KP to save them, but they can’t without going down too. So the staffers are compromised right? Gawd it’s so confusing.

    • Nic919 says:

      They already admit they are employees and so any contribution they would have made would not give them a share of copyright. But the sketchiness in saying they are neutral is clearly false. How did the newspaper find out that she consulted with some staff…. really only Jason because two of them were hired after the letter was written and sent. Someone in KP leaked this to help the DM.

      Something not mentioned is that in Charles’s case he had given portions of his journal to David Dimbleby but the court found that this didn’t mean he had given consent to publish the entire thing. So anything related to FF is shot down with this precedent here too.

      I mean does KP really want Meghan’s lawyers to dig into how KP staff simply write all of the correspondence for Billy and Cathy? Because I think they are trying to imply that Jason wrote this letter for Meghan. It’s obviously not the case, even a casual observer can see her writing style in it compared to other things she has written.

    • Agree Becks1 to your comment 5 and those following.

  6. Mumbles says:

    I am curious why someone would write a letter for a judge to see, saying that they did have information, but didn’t want to testify at trial because they want to be neutral. A judge wouldn’t care, all they want is relevant information. People testify against their wishes all the time.

    • equality says:

      I thought the idea was to tell the truth, point blank, not take sides. It’s not a rugby match; it’s a court case.

      • ArtHistorian says:

        This case is getting ever weirder and messier – and it isn’t Meghan’s lawyers who are making it weird and messy.

  7. Amy Bee says:

    The Queen didn’t write her letter to the Joe Biden but she approved what was said and signed it as her own letter. Despite it being reviewed by Knauf etc. Meghan ultimately wrote and signed the letter therefore it’s her copyright. Furthermore, the issue at hand is that the Mail on Sunday didn’t get permission from Meghan to publish the letter. If the Mail on Sunday is saying KP staff share in the copyright in the letter it means that KP gave permission them to publish the letter without consulting Meghan which is a violation of her rights. These people who allowed the Mail on Sunday except for Samantha Cohen, got promotions after KP gave Meghan’s letter to the press. Another question is why does KP staff want to remain neutral? Wouldn’t they want to support Meghan in her fight against the Mail on Sunday? I think KP involvement in this saga is more than meets the eye and it’s for this reason, I won’t be disappointed if the case goes to trial because KP needs to get exposed.

    • Becks1 says:

      I think the judge (but again, maybe M’s lawyers) yesterday brought up the point that – if the letter was written for public viewing, as the Mail is arguing – then why didnt the MoS just ask Meghan if they could publish it? Its clear they thought the answer would be no, which goes against the whole “she wrote it knowing it would be made public” aspect of their argument.

      If this goes to trial I think it will get very messy because that’s the only way the MoS can win, and while I hope it doesnt, part of me is with you and I want to see KP exposed.

    • Myra says:

      Also Jason Knauf has never once claimed co-authorship of the letter and even in the letter from their lawyers, did not claim co-authorship of the letter. He would have a hard time proving that he ghost-wrote this letter, even at trial, especially as it details personal information that Jason would not have been privy too. This is written in first person, in handwriting and signed by only Meghan. Their letter was super vague tbh and I don’t see how it holds any value to this case.

      • My Two Cents says:

        apparently the draft was first created on a computer, and this is what they’re arguing about, that it went back and forth before she wrote it on paper. This is where it gets complicated, as I’m assuming Jason only proof-read it and maybe gave a suggestion or two, there is no way Meghan would let him ‘rewrite’ or really contribute to her personal letter to her dad.

      • Amy Bee says:

        The Mail on Sunday is claiming Knauf co-authorship on his behalf and I suspect with his approval.

      • Myra says:

        And Meghan has claimed that she wrote the electronic draft too. Jason isn’t claiming he co-wrote the letter nor is he claiming that he edited the letter, he is only giving a vague commitment to cooperate to answer questions at a trial. Nothing prevented him from submitting an affidavit detailing the extent of his involvement in the writing of this letter.

      • Becks1 says:

        And the argument that because he may have helped with it means he owns the copyright – then the logical next step for the defense is that he was the one who leaked the letter. But even if it doesnt get that far – and its just that he’s a co-author – so is any and all royal correspondence fair game and does it all belong in the public domain? Every letter the queen has written to a prime minister, or to an aide – is that all public? It sets a messy precedent and the royal family should know that.

        I think my problem is that I keep coming at this from the thinking that the royals at the very least have competent attorneys involved in this, but I’m starting to think thats wrong.

      • Dollycoa says:

        I cant see him having to do a lot to the letter, apart from.check it wasnt saying anything it shouldnt about the Royals. Meghan is intelligent and articulate and perfectly capable of writing a letter. Must have been a shock to read something from The Royals that had long words in it and wasnt written in crayon!

  8. RoyalBlue says:

    to me, Jason, Christian and Samantha are the smoking guns all leading back to the Cambridges. Charles’ guy who left was probably involved too in an off the record way.

    now they can go off to their big partnership promotions and look forward to getting their OBEs some time in the future.

    summary judgement please!

    • kelleybelle says:

      Samantha?? She only found out about the letter from the press. “The letter was nasty (it wasn’t) Dad has plans to release more of it” was only a lie. She barely speaks to the man. What inside knowledge would she have?

    • kelleybelle says:

      My apologies, my bad! I thought you meant Samantha Markle. Yikes. Sorry about that.

  9. Susan says:

    Okay please don’t hate me, general question: why would Meghan seek those viper courtiers’ input/opinion/feedback on a private letter to her father? I guess she hadn’t come to the conclusion yet that these people did NOT have her best interests at heart? Did she have to seek their feedback/clearance to send? What a prison if that is the case. I am not comprehending why they were involved and if they were acting as friends-ish/helpers why they are not willing to testify that this was a personal issue between she and her father? I struggle with understanding this case.

    • My Two Cents says:

      Royal family protocol, she HAD to show them. She wasn’t allowed to write a personal letter without them reviewing it. This brings us to the point about them lying that Meghan never followed protocol – well, she did and they’re still complaining about it and using it against her.

      • smlstrs says:

        Wow – is this the case for any royal / any personal letter?

        Fascinated… That seems like a mess of slippery slopes and tricky enforcement mechanisms – especially if this is used against Meghan since, as someone said above, that could cascade into affecting other letters by other family members…

    • Amy Bee says:

      She wrote the letter in August 2018, three months after marrying Harry. She trusted Charles and Camilla and the people who were working for her. She had no reason to believe that they would throw her under the bus.

      • notasugarhere says:

        You’re assuming Charles and Camilla had anything to do with this, when it was KP staff likely directed by William (and Kate). Charles doesn’t control the KP PR machine or staff, he never has as much as he might want to. He tried to bring his sons under Clarence House years ago, William pitched a fit, and William and Harry got their own independent PR again after that.

      • Amy Bee says:

        @notasugarhere: It’s been reported that Charles and Camilla were the senior royals who advised Meghan to write a letter to her father. Protocol dictates that correspondence must be vetted by staff before dispatched.

      • notasugarhere says:

        You’re ignoring the fact that the staff involved work for W&K, not for Charles and Camilla.

        Charles has had staff go over his letters/journals before, and he still won his copyright lawsuit.

        The ones to watch here are W&K and the KP staff, not Clarence House and Charles.

    • CC2 says:

      @susan, it’s hard to separate personal and work for the royals, since everything is done under the firm. Meghan’s issue with her dad is not only her personal conflict, but it affects her from a PR perspective as TM made it public, so it’s not odd that kp staff and the 2 royals are somehow involved in it. If Meghan was having a private fight with say, her friend, I doubt KP or the royals would even be aware about it unless Meghan felt that it could become public.

      Additionally, the letter was written pretty early on. My theory has been that while Harry (and Meg) were tense with the royals very early on (according to reporters that said Harry was already salty in Australia), the issue with the letter broke the camel’s back, or at the very least, it brought the ugly to the surface.

    • Susan says:

      Holy cats, I CANNOT IMAGINE having to let royal employees “oversee” my personal communications. I could never ever ever join that family. It literally is prison. Thanks for the explanations!

      Side note: is that one of the reasons why Kate spends so much time with her parents, I wonder? Freedom from being watched?

    • I think Meghan was trying hard to follow “royal protocol” and be part of the Firm at that time. Knowing everything about her family is toxic, of course she’s going to run it by someone on staff before sending. No different then someone at a University or other private or public entity running something by in-house lawyer or PR team. It’s the way corporate world tends to work. Staff isn’t supposed to turn around 2 years later though and try to make themselves more important than they were or are. They are worker bees and that’s part of what they are hired to do.

  10. Amy Bee says:

    One question that is not being asked if we take Mail on Sunday’s position that Meghan wanted the public to see the letter why didn’t they ask permission to print it? Wouldn’t she have agreed if they were so sure she wanted the public to know what she wrote? And another thing, if she wanted the public to see the letter why is suing the Mail on Sunday for doing what she wanted?

  11. Cecilia says:

    So the MoS is going to defend their case with witnesses that don’t really want to testify? This should be a pretty easy decision for the judge…..

    • Jegede says:

      Them saying ‘they don’t really want to testify’, is simply to give a false veneer of neutrality.

      Christian Jones has just been made partner of a billion dollar hedge fund. 🙄
      At the age of 31, with a Communications Degree.🙄
      Lucky him.🙄

      His career is covered and is now free to testify as ‘former’ royal staff, with little employment/financial implications.

      • Harper says:

        Or, even if he doesn’t testify, he’ll keep getting a nice fat salary and whopping bonuses for keeping his mouth shut for a long long time.

  12. GR says:

    Under US copyright law, if an employee helped write something as part of their duties, you would expect the copyright to belong to their employer. If UK law is similar, Meghan would probably still own the letter even if her employees helped write it.

    • ABritGuest says:

      Yeah it’s interesting that the free and fair press is keeping quiet on this revelation that a senior royal source is aiding the Fail’s case against a royal. And also interesting that the firm behind an alleged policy of ‘no complain no explain’ (enforced particularly for Meghan), are suddenly keen to ‘level the playing field’ when it comes to Meghan’s case.

      This case is messy- no wonder the palace seemed more angsty about it then Harry’s multiple hacking cases against their other tabloid friends.

      Given what we know now I doubt that the palace would have been helping Meghan combat her fathers misinformation so getting the letter out there was part of a media strategy with them. Her father lied for months after receiving the letter including a tv interview saying he had been ghosted. imho if the letter was truly meant to be part of tackling PR around bad dad, just like how someone wants to let on that Harry& William are in touch on zoom calls & the couples have exchanged gifts etc, KP might have allowed comment through ‘sources’ that she had tried contacting him in a letter& is devastated by the situation to combat the bad daughter PR. Don’t think this happened & think it’s on court record that Knauf told a Fail editor during the engagement period that when J Mulroney tried to call out her ex agent for her involvement in a hit piece, that something like that wouldn’t happen again.

      My guess is she wrote a letter in good faith (and I think the suggestion to write to him was given in good faith) maybe hoping for the best from her dad but was prepared for the worst (so kept a copy of letter)

  13. Charfromdarock says:

    “ s just… very complicated. I feel like the Windsor clan will have to pull some strings to end things in Meghan’s favor, just so all of the palace secrets don’t come spilling out all at once.”

    Ding ding ding

    They will pull strings to benefit themselves. Any benefits for Meghan will just be a side effect of a Royal CYA.

  14. CC2 says:

    Even if there’s a trial, i think William would be safe. If anything, they’ll portray their staff as bumbling idiots or lone wolves. Of course, WE would know, just like how we got confirmation that a KP member is chummy with ANL, but no tea.

    I don’t know why that staffer would tell them that though. If they don’t want a trial, why tell ANL lawyers that Meghan isn’t the sole writer? Is it one of the staffers that recently left? It’s possible that that person has nothing to lose and decided to proceed to trial. But it makes no sense unless they hate Meghan AND the royals since they all don’t want a trial. Is that possible? Or was it a one off conversation, and the lawyers are dragging that person into the case?

    • Cut to: Episode of The Crown season 4 when the staff member fell on his sword for the Queen re her support against apartheid. I imagine their are countless instances of taking one for the royal team and we are just seeing history in the making unfolding again.

      • L4frimaire says:

        That’s why they made sure those guys who just left landed good jobs. They’ll throw the rocks, hide their hands and say someone else caused the damage. There is no accountability at all.

    • Lindsay says:

      I doubt the staffer initially told the ANL lawyer that. Here’s how I suspect it went down, starting way back at the time Meghan wrote the letter:
      1. Meghan types up a draft of the letter.
      2. Meghan tries to be a team player and follow protocol by running it past the Comms Flunkie.
      3. Comms Flunkie provides feedback, which Meghan does or does not incorporate.
      4. Comms Flunkie has been regularly leaking to a pet MoS “reporter” since Meghan came on the scene. Comms Flunkie calls up pet reporter to provide regularly-scheduled anti-Meghan leak: “I just reviewed a letter the DoS drafted to send to her father. Here’s the juicy bits…”
      **MoS gets the letter from the sperm donor and publishes it. Meghan sues.**
      5. MoS pet reporter has to meet with ANL’s lawyers to prepare for court, tells them how he/she found out about the letter.
      6. ANL’s lawyers contact Comms Flunkie to confirm.
      7. A right royal round of pants-crapping ensues.

    • Lindsay says:

      I doubt the staffer initially told the ANL lawyer that. Here’s how I suspect it went down, starting way back at the time Meghan wrote the letter:
      1. Meghan types up a draft of the letter.
      2. Meghan tries to be a team player and follow protocol by running it past the Comms Flunkie.
      3. Comms Flunkie provides feedback, which Meghan does or does not incorporate.
      4. Comms Flunkie has been regularly leaking to a pet MoS “reporter” since Meghan came on the scene. Comms Flunkie calls up pet reporter to provide regularly-scheduled anti-Meghan leak: “I just reviewed a letter the DoS drafted to send to her father. Here’s the juicy bits…”
      **MoS gets the letter from the sperm donor and publishes it. Meghan sues.**
      5. MoS pet reporter has to meet with ANL’s lawyers to prepare for court, tells them how he/she found out about the letter.
      6. ANL’s lawyers contact Comms Flunkie to confirm.
      7. A right royal round of pants-crapping ensues.

  15. Rae says:

    I genuinely don’t know which way the judge is going to rule. Common sense, and basic law with regards to copyright should see this as an open and closed case, but some of the judgements so far have been pro for the press. So, I’m preparing for it to go to trial and the MOS acting like they “won”.

  16. equality says:

    Good business practice would be if the employee gets credit for writing the letter; the employee signs it and then types below “for: boss’s name”. Otherwise, to me, you don’t come back later and say, “Oh, I wrote that.” There should be an understanding with employees as to how these practices apply and who holds copyright. That would also be a general good business practice. The royal household is making itself look like a pretty feeble firm if this is not understood up front.
    I could write my entire biography, with or without editorial help or co-authors, knowing it would be published and in the public eye and that still wouldn’t give anyone the right to publish extracts without my permission. How is that even allowable as an argument?
    Is this justice delaying a decision to give the RF time to get their ducks in a row and “help” him decide?

    • Erinn says:

      Yes and no? I’m Canadian and I worked for an American company. Anything I created was owned by the company. I would not have any right to anything that was created using company time or equipment – it would be owned by the company. That said it WAS in my contract.

      There’s also some fair use laws in the US, so technically you could quote something or use small extracts without permission under certain circumstances. But it would still need to be attributed to the owner. Just based on the example you made – not meghans particular situation. Fair use is a tricky one on top of that, but it wouldn’t apply here because it was meant to be private.

    • Nic919 says:

      A letter to Meghan’s father wouldn’t be considered work in the same way as all of the letters sent by Kate to charities are really just her staff and her electronic signature is appended. For Jason Knauf to pretend that he has some claim to a letter to Meghan’s father would just be ridiculous and untenable in law especially since it’s not a commercial endeavour.

      He likely provided some advice and changed a few words, but otherwise this is a red herring that is irrelevant to the core issue of ownership of the copyright.

  17. Alexandria says:

    Is this really that hard for the judge to rule? It’s her copyright. And until now MOS has had no solid evidence.

    All these posturing and mass resignations are to avoid showing the obvious: that the Palace and KP are dumb and dumber dumbfucks at PR and basic human decency. If push comes to shove, BRF will let their former staff take the fall. They have already been rewarded for it. Maybe an OBE years down the road even.

    I’m so glad the Sussexes are with Doria.

    • Really this case is Meghan vs Crown/KP with MoS as the third leg on this stool. There is no way the Crown is Not going to pull every string (I’m looking at Judiciary pressure here) to make sure Meghan comes out looking like the mass manipulator than the victim of a corrupt family and press.

  18. candy says:

    I had to testify in a court case for a work related matter some years ago. To this day, it is one of the most stressful things I have ever gone through.

    • Lady D says:

      Same. I was bartending and a customer with a mental disability went nuts and tried to destroy first the bar, then me. I was most intimidated sitting in that chair in the courtroom and a little confused. The lawyer told me he would ask me the questions and I was to turn and answer the judge. It seemed so rude to me to completely ignore the person asking the question it embarrassed me and I turned red. I ended up giving most answers twice, once to the judge and then repeated it to the lawyer.

      • candy says:

        OMG that sounds so scary, glad you are ok. My situation was similar in that it involved a mentally ill person who was causing danger to individuals in my workplace. I was a social worker at the time, and honestly it’s part of the reason I later quit.

      • Lady D says:

        LOL, I quit bartending shortly after that too. The job was actually fun most of the time, it was a small town and I had lived there for decades so I knew most everyone and their parents. I spent my work evenings in the company of friends, night after night. Really a fun job, but I didn’t sign up for that kind of violence.

  19. CrazyHeCallsMe says:

    Can’t help but think of Harry’s comment, “If you knew what I knew.”

  20. L4frimaire says:

    I just hope there is a summary judgement in her favor and don’t have to hear any more about the case. What people complain about after that is on them. It will eventually come out anyway, tail or no trial. It’s bee. 2 years now and it should just be decided.The Mail thought they would have carte blanche with Meghan and could exploit her and make money off her into perpetuity, and she basically said no. Good for her, hope she wins a and hope it’s done.

    • Lady D says:

      I think that would be best for Meghan and Harry too.

    • Robert says:

      I think that’s why they are pushing for this to come to trial. I think they think Meaghan & Harry will have to go back to England for the trial. This would give them all new stories and photo’s to print. They could probably make more money than they would lose at trial.

  21. Shannon says:

    I can’t claim to know much about how courts work in the UK, but I would imagine “fishing expeditions” are not permitted. And that is essentially what ANL is pushing for if they don’t have compelling evidence of their claims now. They *think* these four people *could* provide evidence in their favor under cross-examination (maybe). That isn’t generally how a legal argument is supposed to work. Court attorneys don’t like surprises.

  22. BnLurkN4eva says:

    If the judge doesn’t find in Meghan’s favor, no one will be able to convince me that the British court system isn’t as corrupt as their media, Govt. and royal family. I feel so sorry for Meghan and hope she is really doing better like she said during that Teenager zoom interview she and Harry did. Here’s this wealthy, beautiful, intelligent woman married to a prince and I wouldn’t trade places with her for anything. It must be so exhausting to deal with everything she’s had to deal with since it was revealed she’s Harry’s girlfriend. If I was Harry I would feel so guilty for all Meghan has had to endure. I am sure she doesn’t blame him though, considering her own paternal family.