It’s been mere days since it was reported that Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle are severing all ties with several British tabloids, due to the ways the outlets “sought to insulate themselves from taking accountability for what they say or print—even when they know it to be distorted, false, or invasive beyond reason.” On Monday, the extent of that accountability became a bit more evident.
In preparation for a “Strike Out Hearing” taking place on Friday, which will allow a judge to review Meghan’s full case against Associated Newspapers, publisher of The Mail on Sunday, her lawyer filed her legal response. The 33-page
receipt document obtained by Harper’s Bazaar not only alleged that the publisher published a private letter from Meghan to her father, Thomas Markle, and subsequently tried to “attack and intimidate her,” but included text messages from Meghan to Thomas, sent in the days preceding her May 2018 nuptials.
Royal watchers will recall that the elder Markle was conspicuously absent from the wedding ceremony and therefore unable to walk his daughter down the aisle, having reportedly suffered a heart attack in the days prior. Nevertheless, in the weeks leading up to the internationally broadcast event, Thomas worked with tabloids to stage photographs of himself preparing for the wedding—and, as recently as this January, was featured in a documentary in which he insisted that Meghan “owes” him.
“I want everyone to know that I am not all the trashy things that are being said about me,” he said at the time. “I want Harry and Meghan to see that this is not fair. To them, I don’t exist.”
Well, if anyone owes, it would seem Thomas owes his daughter and son-in-law an apology because aside from his slew of previous transgressions, his claims that he’s been ignored or dismissed by his daughter in favor of the monarchy were shot full of holes by transcripts of Meghan’s increasingly concerned texts.
“I’ve been reaching out to you all weekend but you’re not taking any of our calls or replying to any texts…,” she wrote in one message in the days before the ceremony. “Very concerned about your health and safety and have taken every measure to protect you but not sure what more we can do if you don’t respond...Do you need help? Can we send the security team down again? I’m very sorry to hear you’re in the hospital but need you to please get in touch with us... What hospital are you at?”
Ten minutes later, Meghan made another attempt, writing:
“Harry and I made a decision earlier today and are dispatching the same security guys you turned away this weekend to be a presence on the ground to make sure you’re safe... they will be there at your disposal as soon as you need them. Please please call as soon as you can.. all of this is incredibly concerning but your health is most important.”
According to the report, “While Mr. Markle responded later that evening to say that he appreciated the offer but did not feel in danger and would instead recover at a motel, the Claimant [Meghan] responded 10 minutes later to make a further request for the hospital details so that she would know where he was.”
These pertinent details were, of course, absent from the Mail on Sunday’s coverage of the rising tension within the Markle clan, omissions Meghan’s lawyers maintain were intentional. There is also mention of a May 16 message of an “unpleasant nature” sent by Thomas to Meghan, which prompted her to call him four times before Harry sent a text of his own, which read:
“Tom, it’s Harry, please answer your phone. I need to know this is actually you because it doesn’t sound like you at all.”
Harry reportedly continued to try to make contact over the next few days leading up to the wedding, during which time Thomas’ wedding prep photos hit the press. After the revelation, Harry wrote:
“Tom, Harry again! Really need to speak to u. U do not need to apologize, we understand the circumstances but ‘going public’ will only make the situation worse. If u love Meg and want to make it right please call me as there are two other options which don’t involve u having to speak to the media, who incidentally created this whole situation. So please call me so I can explain. Meg and I are not angry, we just need to speak to u. Thanks.”
“Oh any speaking to the press WILL backfire, trust me Tom,” Harry added. “Only we can help u, as we have been trying from day 1.”
(Sidebar: OK, sounds mildly menacing, in an M16 sort of a way...but more important: Who would’ve guessed a prince of England would be so fond of the casual “u”?)
Rather than responding to his daughter and her fiancé, Thomas instead opted to share the details of his hospitalization with TMZ. (And no, we don’t know how much Harvey Levin and ‘nem paid, but it was clearly worth more to Thomas than his relationship with Meghan.) There is mention of a missed call—presumably from father to daughter—at 4:57 a.m. on the morning of her wedding, but seemingly no message left or further attempt to reach her.
Does that sound like someone who has been victimized or ignored by his daughter? Oh, what a tangled web we weave when we try to profit off our daughter’s fairytale wedding!
History will remember Meghan’s now-father-in-law, Prince Charles walking her down the aisle at Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018. But Bazaar reports that the texts were filed in hopes of bolstering the case against Associated Newspapers, “which alleges invasion of privacy, breaches of copyright, and misuse of personal data after it published extracts from a private letter she sent to Thomas in the summer of 2018.”
In a fun little tag to this increasingly tired and tragic family feud, Meghan’s lawyers also point out that Thomas claims he was tricked into conducting a nine-hour interview with the Mail on Sunday in July 2018—but while the reporter allegedly printed “a few things [Thomas] said in confidence, but 85 percent were lies and bullshit!” perhaps his real rage was over the fact that he wasn’t rewarded with a check, as he wrote in response to his daughter: “I didn’t want or intend to give him an interview and I certainly would not do nine hours for free!”