Meghan apologises to court for ‘forgetting’ she briefed aide on controversial biography

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Screengrab of Meghan Markle source Archewell.

Meghan Markle has apologised to the Court of Appeal for “forgetting” she authorised an aide to brief the authors of Finding Freedom, the controversial biography on her and Prince Harry.

Meghan’s lawyers have always insisted there was no ­collaboration with authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, the writers of Finding Freedom.

In a written statement in September last year, Meghan’s lawyer Justin Rushbrooke QC told the High Court:

“The claimant and her husband did not collaborate with the authors on the book, nor were they interviewed for it, nor did they provide photographs to the authors for the book.”

Co-Author Omid Scobie supported her story saying in a written statement last year:

“Any suggestion that the Duke and Duchess collaborated on the book is false.”

But a witness statement from her former communications secretary Jason Knauf flatly contradicted Meghan and her legal team’s claim.

Mr Knauf, who now works as Chief Executive of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s charitable foundation, said there had been many conversations with Meghan about the book and he had been asked to brief the authors at the royal couple’s request.

Mr Knauf said:

“While the authors discussed it with me as part of normal contact with the Kensington Palace press office, the Duke and Duchess later authorised specific cooperation in writing in December 2018.”

Mr Knauf detailed conversations he had had with Meghan about giving the authors information while the royal agreed to deny any involvement with the book.

Mr Knauf said Harry emailed him on December 10, 2018, saying:

“I totally agree that we have to be able to say we didn’t have anything to do with it. Equally, you giving the right context and background to them would help get some truths out there.” 

On the same day, he said Meghan wrote:

“For when you sit down with them it may be helpful to have some background reminders so I’ve included them just in case.

“I know you are better versed at this than most but assisting where I can. Let me know if you need me to fill in any other blanks.”

In her witness statement Meghan apologised saying:

“In the light of the information and documents that Mr Knauf has provided, I accept that Mr Knauf did provide some information to the authors for the book and that he did so with my knowledge, for a meeting that he planned for with the authors in his capacity as communications secretary.”

“I did not have the benefit of seeing these emails and I apologise to the court for the fact that I had not remembered these exchanges at the time. I had ­absolutely no wish or intention to mislead the defendant or the court.” 

The hearing continues.

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