"METICULOUS" Meghan Markle was criticised today for saying she couldn't remember emails later shown to a court.
The Duchess of Sussex, 40, apologised to the Court of Appeal yesterday after she failed to tell a judge about emails showing her attempts to influence a biography about her and Prince Harry – telling the court she forgot.
Meghan has always vehemently denied cooperating with the authors of Finding Freedom to help them with the controversial biography.
But emails shown to a court reveal she and Harry heavily briefed their press spokesman Jason Knauf before he met to discuss the book with writers Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand two years ago.
Royal biographer Angela Levin told The Sun Online: "Meghan is a very bright woman.
"She’s very meticulous about everything she says and everything she does.
"Someone with that sort of attention span, and meticulous behaviour is surely going to find it hard to forget the huge difference it's made about Finding Freedom and about her father and about the whole Royal Family unless there are strong reasons.
Meghan yesterday apologised to the Court of Appeal for not mentioning the emails before in her long-running High Court privacy case against The Mail on Sunday for revealing the contents of the letter to her father.
She had won her case but the newspaper is appealing.
Meghan said: “I did not have the benefit of seeing these emails and I apologise to the Court for the fact I had not remembered these exchanges at the time.
“I had absolutely no wish or intention to mislead the defendant or the Court.”
Yesterday it was revealed Meghan even wrote five bullet points and 31 “reminders” she says “may be helpful to have”.
Angela explained: "We could see even from the notes that she left for the senior aide that her attention is for everything – it was minutely done.
"Even the documents she gave him, she made sure they were numbered 1/5 – she didn’t want anyone else to add in another number.
"She also finished every page with half a sentence so no-one could add anything."
In her statement to court, Meghan admitted Mr Knauf “did provide some information to the authors for the book” and “did so with my knowledge”.
Her new recollections appeared in a 23-page statement after the former press chief released the emails to lawyers appealing her High Court privacy case with estranged dad Thomas.
Mr Knauf wrote Meghan highlighted a number of points she wanted stressing in the book, including:
- Information on how she had minimal contact with her half-siblings throughout her childhood;
- That she had been “close for most of her life” with her father and she had supported him “…in spite of his reclusiveness.” She added that “media pressure crumbled him and he began doing Press deals brokered by his daughter Samantha” and that “despite countless efforts to support him through the past two years, they now no longer have a relationship”;
- Her perspective on the thinking behind a statement in November 2016 issued by me about the way she was being treated by the media;
- Her happiness about moving to Windsor;
- Detail on how the wedding tiara had been selected and that it had been misrepresented by media. Later that evening Harry got involved with his own ideas for Mr Knauf to discuss with the authors.
Emails released yesterday also revealed an account of Meghan choosing her wedding tiara with the Queen were attributed to a “palace aide” in Finding Freedom when it was released last summer.
In another exchange Harry told Mr Knauf: “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.
"The truth is v much needed and would be appreciated, especially around the Markle/wedding stuff but at the same time we can’t put them directly in touch with her friends.”
It comes after a string of vocal denials of collaboration via Meghan's spokesmen and lawyers.
Even the documents she gave him, she made sure they were numbered 1/5 – she didn’t want anyone else to add in another number.
Court documents submitted on Meghan’s behalf signed by her lawyer Justin Rushbrook in her High Court privacy hearing in September 2020 said: “The claimant and her husband did not collaborate with the authors of the book.”
When Finding Freedom was published, a spokesman for the couple told the Press: “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were not interviewed and did not contribute.”
And in his witness statement, co-author Scobie said: “Any suggestion that the Duke and Duchess collaborated on the book is false.”
Mr Knauf’s statement reveals: “The book was discussed directly with the Duchess multiple times in person and over email.”
He says on November 12, 2018 that “the Duchess asked to discuss the book with me that afternoon”.
Mr Knauf added: “On December 10 2018 I emailed The Duke about the book and included a list of topics that the authors wanted to discuss. I asked him to decide whether or not these should be shared with the Duchess as she’d requested to not be told about media stories or questions that involved her family.
“In relation to the authors’ request to be put directly in touch with friends of The Duchess I advised that ‘this was not a good idea’ and that ‘being able to say hand on heart that we did not facilitate access will be important’.
“I also told him that I would meet the authors that week to help with ‘factual accuracy and context’.” Later that day Mr Knauf says he emailed Meghan a list of potential questions.
“The Duchess replied that evening saying, ‘Thank you very much for the info below — 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. I appreciate your support — please let me know if you need me to fill in any other blanks’.”
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