Meghan Markle WON’T have to face dad Thomas in court as she wins legal battle over letter

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MEGHAN Markle today WON the latest round of her privacy battle – meaning she will not face her estranged dad in a public showdown.

The Duchess of Sussex, 40, sued the Mail on Sunday over the publication of the “personal and private” letter she sent to Thomas Markle in 2018.

Meghan accused the royals of ‘berating’ Harry

The High Court issued a summary judgment in February – meaning she won without having to face a messy high-profile trial.

But publishers Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL) launched an appeal against the ruling – arguing the judge was not aware of all the facts at the time.

Judges at the Court of Appeal today ruled in Meghan’s favour and dismissed the appeal.

She will now not have to come face-to-face with Mr Markle in a blockbuster showdown in court.

Today’s judgment read: “The Court of Appeal upheld the judge’s decision that the Duchess had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the contents of the letter and those contents were personal, private and not matters of legitimate public interest.”

Meghan sent her estranged father the “heartfelt” five-page letter in 2018 after they reached “breaking point”.

But the court heard bombshell claims last month – including from Meghan’s own witness statement.

She said she only wrote the 1,250-word note on advice of senior royals “A” and “B” after the royals put “significant pressure” on her and Prince Harry.

Read our Meghan and Harry live blog for the latest updates

Meghan also claimed the “catalyst” for writing the letter was “seeing how much pain” it was causing her husband.

And she lashed out at the royals – accusing them of “constantly berating” Harry over her dad’s actions in a text to her former press secretary.

The messages – revealed in court – were sent to Jason Knauf in August 2018 after the couple stayed with Prince Charles.

Meghan added: “Even after a week with his dad and endlessly explaining the situation, his family seem to forget the context and revert to ‘can’t she just go and see him and make this stop?’

“They fundamentally don’t understand so at least by writing [Harry] will be able to say to his family, ‘she wrote him a letter and he’s still doing it’.

“By taking this form of action I protect my husband from this constant berating and while unlikely, perhaps it will give my father a moment to pause.”

‘DADDY’ CLAIMS

In his witness statement, Mr Knauf claimed Meghan had emailed with an electronic draft of the letter asking if anything stood out as a “liability”.

The papers read: “She also asked a specific question regarding addressing Mr Markle as ‘Daddy’ in the letter, saying ‘given I’ve only ever called him daddy it may make sense to open as such (despite him being less than paternal), and in the unfortunate event that it leaked it would pull at the heartstrings.”

It came at a time when Mr Markle missed his daughter’s wedding after suffering a heart attack and repeatedly spoke to the media.

Mr Knauf suggested she reference her dad’s health problems in the letter as it is his “best opening for criticism and sympathy”.

The duchess replies saying it is a “very valid point” and says she will attempt to squeeze it into the five page, 1,250-word letter.

Meghan also explained how she feared the letter would leak and said she had been “meticulous” in her wording.

And she apologised to the court for not remembering an email exchange agreeing Mr Knauf could provide information to the authors of Finding Freedom.

MEETING WITH AUTHORS

She and Prince Harry have always denied having anything to do with the book.

But emails between her and Mr Knauf show the aide sat down for two hours with the writers to discuss a string of “briefing points” Meghan wanted him to share.

These included personal stories about Meghan’s family – including how her half-sister Samantha “had lost custody of all three of her children from different fathers”.

Mr Knauf also claimed in his witness statement he “authorised specific cooperation in writing in December 2018” to the book’s authors.

He said “the book was discussed directly with the Duchess multiple times in person and over email”.

But he added as far as he knows, neither Harry or Meghan met directly with the authors during his time as press secretary.

Meghan sensationally won the privacy row in February after it published extracts of the handwritten note to her dad.

She said the articles misused her private information, infringed her copyright and breached the Data Protection Act.

Lord Justice Warby said publication of the letter was “manifestly excessive and hence unlawful”.

Meghan wrote the letter to her dad in 2018

She said the “catalyst” for writing the letter was “seeing how much pain” it was causing Prince Harry

The evidence was revealed at the High Court

Jason Knauf submitted an explosive witness statement

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