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Meghan Markle hires 12th PR aide to fix her reputation amid legal battle



Meghan Markle’s ongoing legal battle with Associated Newspapers took an unprecedented turn this week, with the Duchess unwittingly dragging the royal family into the high stakes privacy row, risking deepening the divide between the Sussexes and the rest of the Firm.

The 39-year-old royal is suing the publisher over articles written by the Mail on Sunday that included parts of the handwritten letter she had sent to her estranged father, Thomas Markle, in August 2018.

Meghan revealed Wednesday in court documents she had sought advice from two senior royal family members before writing the letter to her dad just after her wedding “in an attempt to get him to stop talking to the press”.

As The Sun reports, such conversations among royals are usually kept strictly confidential, however the Duchess of Sussex has now disclosed the new detail in documents knowing they would be made public.

The two royals are not named and Meghan’s legal team could be referring to a number of other members of the family.

Meghan and Harry latest – Duchess risks ROYAL WRATH by dragging Prince Charles, The Queen and William into privacy row

In documents from Meghan Markle’s lawyers revealed Wednesday in her privacy row, it was claimed the former “Suits” star “wanted to follow protocol” on how to deal with media coverage surrounding her father, who admitted to lying to about posing for paparazzi photos which he staged in a bid to improve his image.

The Duchess confided in two senior royal family members about “how best to address the situation”. The royals in question were not named, but speculation is rife as to whether the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William — the most senior members — could have been consulted.

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As Tatler reports, before reprimanding her father in the letter, which ultimately led to her high publicity privacy row, Meghan Markle informed Jason Knauf of her plans, who at the time was Kensington Palace’s director of communications.

“She shared a draft of that draft with her husband and Mr Knauf for support, as this was a deeply painful process that they lived through with her,” her legal team said in documents.

The insight that does not name the particular members of the Royal Family who she spoke with was provided in Meghan’s legal claim for damages for breach of copyright and privacy against Associated Newspapers. 

The Duchess of Sussex draws senior royals into privacy battle

It added: “In the course of a discussion between them, Mr Knauf provided feedback on that draft but no actual wording, as this was a personal letter from daughter to father.”

“The comments Mr Knauf provided were in the form of ‘general ideas’ as opposed to actual wording.”

As Hello! reports, the letter was sent shortly after Meghan’s wedding to Prince Harry in May 2018, and accused her father of breaking her heart “into a million pieces” by giving interviews, fabricating stories to the press and criticizing her new husband after he was unable to attend the royal nuptials. 

The lawyers for Associated Newspapers Ltd (ANL) claim the Duchess’ letter is not her “intellectual creation” and therefore not original work, as it had the input of the communications team and contained pre-existing facts including Meghan’s “view of her father and his conduct”. Therefore, it was not subject to copyright protection.

PA reports that ANL’s legal team says in its document: “It is for the claimant to prove she was the only person who contributed to the writing of the electronic draft. “Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, the defendant infers that Jason Knauf and/or others in the Kensington Palace Communications team contributed to the writing of the electronic draft.”

Meghan Markle talks ‘deeply painful process’ in latest legal documents

With Meghan Markle’s privacy row now postponed until autumn 2021, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are attempting to get their house in order in California, where they now live with their young son, Archie.

As The Express UK reports, the couple has hired a 12th personal relations aide, boosting their media team in a bid to strengthen their star power ahead of an expected expansion of their charitable work and Netflix projects.

Their new PR hire is Christine Schirmer, the former head of communications at Pinterest and former corporate communications manager at Apple.

The Sussexes have also hired Toya Holness, who led communications at the New York City Department of Education, as their new press secretary, according to reports.

Meghan Markle, 39, and Prince Harry, 36, have hired former Pinterest communications chief, Christine Schirmer. 

‘Desperate’ Meghan and Harry hire 12th PR aide as couple ‘obviously getting it wrong’

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