Meghan Markle and her father, Thomas Markle, have been estranged ever since Thomas allegedly staged paparazzi photos just days before Meghan’s wedding to Prince Harry. But reports that Thomas is set to testify against his daughter in Meghan’s legal battle against the Mail on Sunday in the coming weeks may be the final straw in the father-daughter’s strained relationship.
Multiple reports allege that Meghan’s 75-year-old father is expected to be called as a key witness against the Duchess as she battles the British tabloid. The fight stems from the Mail On Sunday’s decision to print a private and confidential letter that Meghan penned to her father shortly after her wedding, which Thomas did not attend, and was published by the outlet in February 2019.
As Meghan never intended for the contents to be made public, Meghan and Harry sued the Mail on Sunday and their parent organization Associated Newspaper in October, “over the intrusive and unlawful publication of a private letter written by the Duchess of Sussex,” according to a legal spokesperson for the Duchess. Moreover, the Mail On Sunday omitted several parts of the letter, which the Duchess’ legal team claimed was a deliberate action in order to alter the meaning behind the letter and paint the Duchess in a negative light.
Perhaps the worst part of the ordeal for Meghan is that her own father reportedly leaked the letter to the press, and the 38-year-old royal was allegedly never given notice that the letter was going to be published.
Reports allege that not only does Thomas plan to testify against his daughter, but will also attempt to prove that the Duchess was behind a smear campaign against her father in the lead-up to her wedding. Thomas has apparently already provided lawyers with private texts exchanged between the two in 2018, which include a rumored angry exchange between Prince Harry and Thomas when the latter claimed he was rushed to the hospital for heart surgery right before the royal couple’s wedding, and therefore could not attend.
The Duke and Duchess, who will be funding the legal proceedings privately, are accusing the Mail on Sunday of copyright infringement, misuse of private information and violating the U.K.’s data protection law.
The explosive report comes a day after Meghan was spotted in public for the first time since it was announced that she and Prince Harry would be stepping down as senior members of the royal family. The Duchess stepped out to visit with the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre in Canada to meet with women from impoverished neighborhoods.