Duchess Meghan’s lawyer: Jason Knauf gave a witness statement to help the Mail

In 2021, the Mail appealed the judge’s summary judgment in the case involving their publication of the Duchess of Sussex’s letter to her father. Just as the Mail only published selected edits from Meghan’s letter, the appeal was based on selected edits from communications between Meghan and Jason Knauf, who was then the top communications guy at Kensington Palace. In 2018, Meghan had sent a draft of her letter to Thomas Markle over to Jason to look over for any traps in case Thomas Markle leaked it. Then in 2021, Knauf cherrypicked those selected (and edited) communications and turned them over to the Mail’s lawyers. At the time, Knauf was working solely for Prince William and Kate. There was absolutely no way that Knauf would have worked AGAINST Meghan’s case and provided evidence to the Mail without William’s approval. Even the royal rota people said that at the time. It was all so unnecessary too, because the emails and texts ended up having absolutely zero to do with the case, it was just another attempt for Jason and William to screw over Meghan and Harry. Here’s how that whole incident went down in Netflix’s Harry & Meghan:

In episode six of the couple’s Netflix series, Harry & Meghan, British lawyer Jenny Afia recalled the case being appealed by the company in 2021, despite a judge stating they weren’t required to go to trial. During her interview on the program, Afia explained that a witness statement and leaked text conversation between Meghan and her former press secretary, Jason Knauf, about the letter in question, threw a spanner in the works of the case.

She went on to air her belief that Prince William would have been aware of Knauf coming forward, with Harry and Meghan later agreeing in tense scenes.

“When we were just about to go to the court of appeal, a senior member of the Duke of Cambridge’s team came forward to give this witness statement, which wasn’t required,” Afia said. “And sadly, there’s no way he could have done that without the authority of his bosses.”

A news snippet from royal editor Chris Ship then rolled, with Ship explaining: “The Mail on Sunday was arguing all the way through this that actually this letter wasn’t private because (Meghan) shared a draft with her former press secretary, and she shared some text messages with him… Even during the course of those text messages, Meghan said ‘obviously everything I’ve drafted is with the understanding that it could leak’”.

The episode then cut to footage of a stressed Meghan claiming it’s “so obvious” that Prince William had played a part in Knauf coming forward, seeing as he was William’s own press secretary at the time.

“It’s your brother, I’m not going to say anything about your brother but it’s so obvious,” Meghan is seen saying in a huff.

Harry added: “What’s even more obvious is the fact that they’re trying to cover that up … Again, ‘Jason, the former aide of Harry and Meghan,’” he said, referring to the fact that there had been no mention of the aide’s connection to William. “That’s why I’m now living in a new country … This is the contract, the symbiotic relationships between the two institutions working the best way they can,” he fumed, referencing his previous explanation that the royals and the British press have a close working relationship.

Meghan won the case against Associated Newspapers in December 2021, with footage in tonight’s final episode of the Netflix docu-series depicting the Duchess in tears of joy while receiving the news. As for the impact of the witness statement, lawyer Jenny Afia said: “The witness statement had no legal significance on the case whatsoever, other than to actually vindicate a lot of what Meghan had been saying, about how the letter was never intended to be published. But it was filed because the impact on Meghan’s reputation was potentially damaging.”

[From News.com.au]

Meghan was disgusted by Knauf’s actions in turning over evidence against her, and she was disgusted that William was so clearly directing staff to work against her and Harry. I wish Harry and Meghan had said more about this, because this was really major. They had someone going on the record to HELP THE MAIL. Prince William’s senior staffer gave evidence to help the Mail and hurt Meghan… and no one asked him to.

Some of the final images of the series were of Knauf’s comments to Netflix, in which he claims that Jenny Afia’s comments are false and that he was asked by Meghan and the Mail to “provide evidence” in the Mail’s appeal and that he stayed “neutral” in the process. Then Netflix shows Meghan’s response, which is that she never asked Knauf to provide testimony or evidence, and that he was not neutral when he was working for William and Kate and providing evidence specifically to “help” the Mail’s case.

Photos courtesy of Netflix, Avalon Red, Instar.

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77 Responses to “Duchess Meghan’s lawyer: Jason Knauf gave a witness statement to help the Mail”

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  1. equality says:

    I think the big proof is in the fact that Knauf is STILL royal-adjacent in working for ES.

    • ThatsNotOkay says:

      Yup. On the board of Earthsh*t. We all discussed the fact that Knauf testifying couldn’t have happened without William’s approval or direction, and H&M just said so with their whole chests. And we watched their reactions in real time. I think it’s truly damning for William. I’m sure he’ll try to pull out the bullying BS, but his goose is cooked. Give up your abusive ways and go to therapy, William. You have lost…a lot more than you know.

      • A says:

        On the contrary I actually think this could shut him an his idiot gang up for good. If he tries to brief against this he’ll just prove Harry’s point. He might be tempted to brief against briefing but unlike before this is not some reporter like Omid. You can just dismiss what was said or have this part edited out, this is coming out of Harry’s own mouth. What are they going to do say no see what happen was William was just shouting due to the acoustic’s at Sandringham?

  2. Naomi says:

    I wish more had been made of this as well, though appreciated the candid (or candid-ish) scene where H & M discuss this and she’s like “Your brother! I’m going to leave it at that!”

    Not to thread jack, but I came into this documentary wondering “who is the audience for this?” and not entirely sure what its purpose was. I still think it’s not entirely clear. Or that at least, this doc tried to thread a lot of needles. On the one hand it’s a sweet love story; on the other it’s building their ‘brand’ as global philanthropists; on the other it’s to tell the truth about BRF & British media to further explain the context of their exit. So I get why they can’t spill TOO much family tea, because they are trying to give off this “love and light” vibe. But honestly, I really just wanted more tea! There were nods and gestures to stuff behind the scenes, but I really wanted them to name names! I came out of this documentary being like “eh, nothing we didn’t already know”… also a little freaked out by how much they photograph & video themselves, lol.

    • Amy Bee says:

      I think Harry and Meghan played it really well. They stated what happened to them and laid the responsibility at the feet of the press and the Royal Family. They’ve got journalists to disavow or discredit their own work and the Royal Family has been exposed for the inept and archaic system that it is. William has been found to be the centre of this debacle. Harry and Meghan have done more than enough.

      • Zoochy says:

        IMO when the Oprah interview aired, the silence was more revealing than the details H&M shared. That was what made it obvious William was the main instigator. The Netflix doc provides more solid evidence.

    • Pumpkin (Was Sofia) says:

      I know that this documentary seemed a lot like “well duh we know all this” and that’s because we’ve been following it all really closely.

      The average person doesn’t beyond just seeing the headlines. 28 million people watched the first 3 episodes and I’m sure the vast majority weren’t following this all as closely as we did. So it’s going to be a shock for them.

      • ThatsNotOkay says:

        Agreed. My family only started following H&M because I started following them when she was leaked to be his fiancée. Even over the last six years, sooooo much has come out and there’s so much my family doesn’t know that I have to explain to them, even though they’ve been up on things for about four years! People who only breeze past headlines would have no idea all that’s gone down behind the scenes. This doc just gave them a glimpse of it to help them challenge their own assumptions, misinformation, and prejudices. For instance, I myself has bought into the idea that H&M didn’t do the photo call with Archie outside the hospital due to privacy concerns, but that wasn’t it at all! They would have done it if security could have been worked out and Meghan been able yo keep her trusted doctor in whichever hospital the firm wanted.

        The doc is in the details.

    • Becks1 says:

      I think they actually do a really good job of appealing to supporters and people who don’t know their story. so yes, there was a lot that we already knew, but there were also a lot of pictures we’ve never seen before, the reception pics, etc, that I feel like was more for the supporters. “you all are great, here’s a pic of M&H tearing it up at their wedding.” And obviously we’re learning new stuff but for the most part the new stuff seems to supplement what we already knew.

      but people who don’t know any of this, who just see the headlines, are probably going to learn a lot more.

      I do wish they had called out the family more but I think Harry has a lot of grace for his family and like he said to Oprah, he recognizes that they’re trapped. I think he’s trying to do his part to “un-trap” them by exposing the media relationship.

      • Brassy Rebel says:

        I didn’t know all the details about the DM lawsuit and Jason Knauf’s role because I wasn’t following very closely in real time. I think I’ve learned a lot from this. I suspect I’m not alone.

    • Jais says:

      My sister has a son the same age as Archie, had a miscarriage, and then a rainbow baby girl the same age as Lili. She doesn’t follow royal gossip at all so when I tell her this she’s just like okaaay. But one thing she also does is constantly take photos and videos of her kids and her family. Like all the time. And I’m so grateful that she does. I love those kids and I love all the photos and videos. So that part just didn’t freak me out at all.

    • ArtHistorian says:

      The audience for this doc clearly the general audience – not those that have followed this saga closely. Some of these revelations may not be new to us but they ARE new to people who haven’t followed the whole saga and may have unconsciously imbibed the lies that the tabloids have peddled.

      • Jay says:

        I think although there may not be a lot of new “truthbombs” ( to use the British media parlance), I think it’s worth just gathering together the threads of the story all in one place. We might wish for more specifics (I wanted them to name and shame William, too, @Naomi!) but it’s crazy enough that in the span of a few years, Harry a. Met and married a biracial American actress and they tried to drag the royal family kicking and screaming into the 20th century b. Jealousy, racism and colonialism tried to destroy their growing family , with the British media openly endangering them c. The Sussexes escape to Canada and try to negotiate a “half in” deal, then their location is leaked and Tyler Perry swoops in to get them to safety just as the borders close, because oh,yeah, there was also a worldwide pandemic… There’s just so much ground to cover, and if you were not really following Harry and Meghan news at the time, you could be forgiven for thinking half of what I just said was made up, it’s so dramatic!

        Plus, when you are facing an institution that is constantly trying to gaslight you, as M and H were, it’s likely important to take back ownership of your own story and have that story told and validated by others.

    • equality says:

      Being on SM must freak you out daily then because photos and videos of newlyweds and families with young children, people traveling, what someone had for dinner… That’s pretty much the norm. So why a problem for H&M to do so?

      • Naomi says:

        They document their lives a lot; I can have an opinion about it. Take a deep breath, @equality. Direct your feelings elsewhere.

      • equality says:

        You can “direct your feelings” but I can’t comment on a forum and have an opinion? Take your own deep breath.

      • Debbie says:

        @equality: I suspect that those “who is this documentary for?” people are using that particular question as a way to say, “they should have kept quiet.” It’s a documentary, if you don’t want to watch it, don’t. If you have no interest in the subject matter, go about your business. I just find it hard to believe that these people approach every project released in the same way, that is, asking “who is the audience for this project?” In fact, I know they don’t approach all movies, documentaries or TV shows in that way because people are usually only concerned about whether the work appeals to them, not anyone else that they don’t know.

      • equality says:

        @Debbie Exactly.

  3. girl_ninja says:

    I too wished that Meghan and Harry had said more about what Jason did and really what Will did. But I appreciate that they are decent people who want peace and not war as those dummies on Shutter Island scream.

    Harry and Meghan are far better than me cause I would have dragged a bald bitch and his “loyal” servant.

    • twoz says:

      Ha. As much as you and I and a lot of us here would like to watch them burn it all down and dance on the ashes (and join in the dancing ourselves) I can see how they’re thinking strategically.
      One, like you said, they really want peace, as saying their truth before didn’t bring it.
      Secondly, they’re putting just enough out there to have people ask questions and potentially lure sections of the media.

  4. Ktae says:

    What a turd bucket cesspool of a human. You got caught, and called out on it. Be a decent human, although that’s probably hard when surrounded by the likes of KP and the Rota

  5. Cel2495 says:

    Yasss ! Burn it all !

  6. carol hill says:

    Wow, what will be in the book? Can’t wait.

  7. Noki says:

    Like I said before, I am hoping that Jason Knife one say SNAPs and dishes it all. He is American and he will get a sleazy job elsewhere. I bet he has a vault of seedy things against the Keens no wonder they act so sheepishly and ass kissy around him.

    • ML says:

      Noki, Jason is more than clearly a scumbag, but I’m not sure what you mean about his being American? Meghan and Tyler and Ashleigh and others are also American.

      • Noki says:

        Let me clarify, I mentioned before that the British staff will be terrified to break their NDAs if they ever want to work again. And someone said Jason will have no trouble getting a job in US as people who have done way worse thrive over there eg Trump, Zimmerman, Depp etc

      • CherHorowitz says:

        I took that to mean he has links elsewhere and isn’t beholden to the uk/royal ecosystem, so could dish at some point and not be as worried about finding other opportunities elsewhere.

      • ML says:

        Now I understand your comment better.
        If Susan Hussey were younger, she would probably wouldn’t have that much difficulty finding another job, though. It depends WHO the servant places at a disadvantage when breaking an NDA. Unfortunately.

      • Yes says:

        Jason Knauf is from New Zealand and he is from the same very very small city as Dan Wootton….

      • Duch says:

        @yes, Jason is actually from Conroe TX, and still has family there. There was a Texas Monthly article linked here a few days ago. He went to college in NZ.

  8. Amy Bee says:


  9. Digital Unicorn says:

    Knauf is a snivelling weasel – he’s the Keen ‘fixer’ and thats why he lasted longer than any other press sec.

    What goes around comes around and the Keens WILL throw him under the bus and he will take it as he tries to retaliate he will only incriminate himself and open himself up to lawsuits from H&M.

  10. ML says:

    Forgive me, but I would have liked H&M to share a bit less of their love story and a bit more details of the vicious royal atmosphere that led to their departure. We knew Knauf could only have helped the Fail if KP had okayed it—it’s fine that they focused on this here—but clearly many more people from all the other royal households were making their lives miserable. I’m afraid that as with Meghan informing us that she wore neutral colors (because she was not informed as to what the other senior royals were wearing), this will not make the impact it should. Or could? A-hole behavior, bullying, gaslighting—those are the reasons why they left

    • Naomi says:

      Same. I *get* the tactical decision to limit their criticism to the press and largely not get too deep into family issues. But as a frequent visitor of this site who knows all the in’s and out’s of how the press reports on them, I wanted more detail on the family drama behind the scenes.

      • dee(2) says:

        I think that’s the point though. You are a frequent visitor here, how many of the 28 million households that viewed Volume I are? We want them to jump on things and blow everything up because we are here daily commenting, or viewing stories, or on social media and following along to every twist and turn, the average person isn’t doing that. They see a trending topic of twitter every few months, see a story on GMB, or GMA, and glance at the CNN or MSN, or Guardian homepage. They don’t know the ins and outs, but they have formed an opinion. This is for them, not really us.

    • Peel says:

      Meghan said CLEARLY that this was about their love story!!!!
      A whole bunch of people got sucked into the British media narrative that it was about something else.
      I think that showed more than anything else watching this.

    • Saucy&Sassy says:

      ML, I wonder if they chose the stories to tell where more receipts were not needed. They used what was in the public domain. There isn’t a way for someone to challenge them for more receipts or sue them so that they are forced to show more receipts and give up more of their lives to the tabloids. Why invite that kind of stress into your life? I believe this was very strategic.

  11. Eulalia says:

    Well, I hope it was all worth it for that greasy little weasel.

    • Solidgold says:

      I think it was for him. He has a plum job and the future kings ear. Jason is the new Michael Fawcett.

  12. Seraphina says:

    Will looks like what he is, I will be nice: A wiener head. To stab your brother in the back – there is no turning back. And all I think about is Meghan, to have her father and brother in law working against her. JUST WOW. I cannot imagine the strength that it took to endure and keep fighting. I hope they all reap what they have sewn.

    • SussexWatcher says:

      It’s so telling how ALL the comments coming from Salty Isle have been about how Harry has let down William and how Harry was supposed to be his eternal wingman and helpmate…nothing about how the relationship is a two-way street. What is William doing for Harry (besides stabbing him in the back)?! And then they wonder why Harry wanted the hell out of there!

      I was so grateful for Serena Williams’s comments about how your friends can become your family (when your blood relations are utter TRASH…looking at you, Pegasus, and both the bio fathers). Meghan – and now Harry – has always had an AMAZING group of supportive, loving, protective friends. And I’m so glad that those people (in addition to Grandma Doria) are now Meghan and Harry’s family.

  13. PunkPrincessPhD says:

    The Guardian, who have been somewhat ambivalent in their coverage of H&M, have gone with the headline “Prince William’s office bullied Sussexes out of duties”.

    It begins.

    • SussexWatcher says:

      Fcuking finally!

    • Solidgold says:

      It will only begin when the right wing tabloids start printing the truth.

    • Mel says:

      Amazing! And yes, about effing time!

    • Emily_C says:

      I’m giving it a few weeks. Let’s see how long until they’re back to lying about Harry and Meghan’s jobs, saying Harry and Meghan are exactly like Gwyneth Paltrow and overly earnest and too American (related to overly earnest) and care too much and etc.

    • clare says:

      The Guardian also ran a scathing piece saying ‘Monarchists already know of their woes while republicans will merely have their views confirmed. And the soap opera will go on’
      The royals and the press feed off each other and have no intention of modifying their behaviour. Sad.

  14. Myra says:

    The framing of his statement is interesting because I have seen accounts on Twitter trying to say the same when people point out that he was not subphonaed. I am glad Meghan’s lawyers pointed out how ridiculous that is. Someone from the palace reached out to Dailymail as they claimed in their court docs.

    • Amy Bee says:

      Exactly. He volunteered to testify against Meghan and he could only do that if William gave him permission.

      • Becks1 says:

        Yeah, let’s go back to that, right? The MoS stated in filings to the court that a senior royal (or aide to a senior royal, can’t remember the specific wording) REACHED OUT TO THEM. This wasn’t about Knauf trying to be impartial and helpful and whatever else. He reached out to the MoS to try to tank Meghan’s case.

        Why? Was William contacted by the Mail and ordered to help them if he wanted his secrets covered up? Was it just William being vindictive? Was it just Knauf being an ahole and William agreeing?

  15. Lux says:

    Burn. It. DOWN.

    If only they did an entire documentary about the rise and fall of the devious and nefarious Jason Knauff…chronicling his early, sniveling-but-innocuous “Poor Jason” days of putting out statements of how Keen his bosses will be to work one day; to his duplicitous double act of welcoming the new duchess as a fellow American in England whilst rolling his eyes and fuming about her bullying behind her back (“Guys, let’s make a paper trail…she totally bullied you, right?”); to the denouement of his massive failure to be the biggest, baddest plot-twist witness of all time. Jason, can you please BE the story?

    • CherHorowitz says:

      Yes I love this, a dramatised Netflix series, simply titled ‘Poor Jason’, follows this Varys from GOT type character with little spies in every corner, silently wielding ill-gotten power and playing with the royal households and the tabloids like an elaborate dirty chess match. Who would play him??

      • Lux says:

        My first thought was Jared Leto, but nasty as HE is, that’s veering towards Dominic-West-as-Charles levels of kind. Maybe Casey Affleck? Present day Jonah Hill? Oh I know—the guy who plays Blippi! No disrespect to Blippi (or my kids who love him).

  16. windyriver says:

    So, unlike BP and KP, Jason apparently was able to find the Netflix email asking if he wanted to comment. Imagine that.

    And used the opportunity to go on record with a baldfaced lie – but what else is new.

    • Becks1 says:

      Okay I’m dying. I don’t think there is a podcast this week but I’m still nominating this one for comment of the week, LOLOL.

      • windyriver says:

        Thank you! This group of lizards is really making telling on themselves, and each other, an art form…

    • Nic919 says:

      Yes I wondered about that too. Is this where they try to say Jason would never tell William he got an email from Netflix?

  17. Nicegirl says:

    Assface ok. Someone needs to get fired

  18. MrsCope says:

    I might be in the minority of folks who are voracious readers of all things CB when it comes to H&M, but I haven’t consumed a lot of other sources. I’ve never read Finding Freedom, I only watched portions of the Oprah interview, etc. So from a viewer perspective, a lot of this was new information, or framed in a new way for me.

    From a media perspective, yes they’ve said some of this before in the Oprah interview, but this series puts all their comments in one place, on one record, and they own it. So I get that rehash.

    From a family perspective, I don’t want, wish or expect them to say more or less than they have re: the BRF in particular. They (H&M) are human with complex emotions and they’re trying to carve out a new life. They can hold these horrible people and this toxic institution accountable, but that “burn it to the ground” mentality doesn’t seem to be where they want to live emotionally, spiritually and mentally. I’m not saying don’t whistleblow, don’t name names, but it is a tit-for-tat with the RR and the BRF and they’ll be fighting that fight full time for the rest of their lives if they go down that path of parsing out each offense.

    I could and want to say more, but I have to get to work. Their experience breaks my heart. Shame on the BRF, to put it mildly.

    • SarahCS says:

      I agree and I come from a very similar place to you, I didn’t watch Oprah and I even avoid BBC stories these days because the bias in them is upsetting. I think they trod a line of being explicit about lies that were told (pulling their security, leaking their location, etc. etc.) without setting out to burn the monarchy down. Will there be collateral damage to the institution? Of course there will, but that’s not what they set out to do.

    • Solidgold says:

      I agree. Lay out their version of events and move on. The BaRF and media will never hold themselves accountable or reflect on their mistakes. Both institutions have too much power and manipulative influence.

  19. Nic919 says:

    Knauf could easily get a job with the MAGAs in the US because his weasel antics would fit right in.

  20. aquarius64 says:

    KP and BP are going no comment. They are NOT defending Knauf. That denial was from a representative of Knauf. The royals are starting to distance themselves from Knauf like they did Andrew and Michael Fawcett. Knauf is American and the help so I think he’s on his way out.

    • San Diego says:

      The Palace are not distancing themselves from Jason. He is William’s man and everything Jason did was approved by William. The press will cover for him and he’ll continue on like nothing happened. Unfortunately nothing is going to change. The Royals will just exert more control over the media and everything will be H&M’s fault in a matter of days. I really wish someone has collected and documented the daily headlines and talk show clips and give chronically ordered details of the media and Palace talking points. It might be the only way ppl will understand what really happened to H&M.

  21. SarahCS says:

    Could Harry have gone further? Sure he could, but I think being this explicit, on camera, to a global audience is a big f-ing deal. I actually sat up and clapped my hands when I heard them say it.

    They called out some of the big lies across these episodes with enough surrounding narrative (e.g. his statement wasn’t asked for and helped fuel the commentary that she had lied when she hadn’t) to help more people understand quite how insidious what was happening actually was.

    • Chantal says:

      @SarahCS +1. I think people are missing these facts and that the Sussexes actually called out PW and Jason, and that Harry still has a book coming out. If I were BP and KP, I’d be very worried.

  22. ChillinginDC says:

    Jason the Knife is going to get fired from Earthshot. Watch. And I am laughing. No one told him to go and do anything. Also he edited things! He’s the one that tried to force people to come forward with bullying claims. CLOWN!

  23. aquarius64 says:

    Spare is maybe where Harry says Dracarys.

  24. Beverley says:

    Jason the Knife will get his. He knows where all the bodies are buried. He’s a bomb waiting to go off. He’s William’s problem now. William will forever wonder when the boot is gonna drop and that’s exceedingly dangerous to Jason’s health.

    I bet that neither man sleeps well anymore.

  25. BeanieBean says:

    I swear, in glancing over the article options, I thought there was something in the news about that trump spawn. Jason & trump jr are twins! Evil twins, both of them!

  26. Mary Pester says:

    Look let’s just say it like it is, knaph is a snake who was employed by another snake to try and take down Megan. And snake 1 couldn’t have done it without snakes 2 permission because he would have needed permission to beak his NDA, all staff have to sign one and knaph was no different. He was a plant by William from day one, why else would he have held on to private emails and texts for 2 whole years! And I’m glad the judge saw through it and pointed out the case was about the LETTER not the book. No, this proves that not only is William a nasty self serving little man, but also as Ken Wharf who was bodyguard to William and Harry said, a petulant child. He thought he could control and bully Harry for the rest of his life. But Harry proved there is more to life than palaces and parades

  27. Vanessa says:

    William has no loyalty to anyone but himself I do think that this will be the Beginning of the End for Jason . He will be the sacrifice lamb someone will have to take the fall and Jason will be the face of the betrayal and the reason for the brothers fall out . William will be made out to the Victim of Jason the narratives will be that William was completely blindsided by Jason actions against his brother .

  28. Lila says:

    Hahahaha! I love that they called out the sleaze bag.

  29. Darby says:

    I think this doc will hasten the demise of the Commonwealth and will see more and more British people of colour see the royal family for what it is.