Meghan Markle's father Thomas Markle is defending his choice to make public parts of a letter he says his estranged daughter sent him earlier this year, as she and husband Prince Harry pursue a legal battle against the British tabloid that published it.
In February, The Mail on Sunday published excerpts of the long handwritten note, which Thomas, 75, said the Duchess of Sussex had sent him shortly after the couple's May 2018 wedding, which he did not attend. At the time, Thomas, who has publicly spoken about his estrangement from his daughter many times, told The Mail on Sunday then that he was forced to release the letter because its contents were falsely portrayed. In a new interview with the outlet, published on Saturday, Thomas specified that it was cited by one of Meghan's friends in a People magazine interview.
"I decided to release parts of the letter because of the article from Meghan's friends in People magazine," he said. "I have to defend myself. I only released parts of the letter because other parts were so painful. The letter didn't seem loving to me. I found it hurtful."
"He writes her a really long letter in return, and he closes it by requesting a photo op with her," the friend had told People. "And she feels like, 'That's the opposite of what I'm saying. I'm telling you I don't want to communicate through the media, and you're asking me to communicate through the media. Did you hear anything I said?' It's almost like they're ships passing."
"I don't recognize the person who wrote the letter but I still love my daughter," Thomas told The Mail on Sunday. "All it would take is one phone call and most of this craziness would stop."
The Mail on Sunday reported that Thomas is also angered by false claims that he requested and received payment for releasing parts of the letter. The outlet also stated that no payment was requested or given for their article on Saturday.
Last week, Meghan and Harry's lawyers initiated legal proceedings against the publication over its release, as the Duke of Sussex, in an unprecedented move, called out the entire British tabloid press over their "ruthless" campaign against Meghan. His statement came in the middle of the couple's tour of southern Africa, their first official royal trip with now-5-month-old son Archie Harrison, and followed months of unflattering media coverage about the duchess.
Meghan and Harry's law firm released a statement last week saying, "We have initiated legal proceedings against the Mail on Sunday, and its parent company Associated Newspapers, over the intrusive and unlawful publication of a private letter written by the Duchess of Sussex, which is part of a campaign by this media group to publish false and deliberately derogatory stories about her, as well as her husband. Given the refusal of Associated Newspapers to resolve this issue satisfactorily, we have issued proceedings to redress this breach of privacy, infringement of copyright and the aforementioned media agenda."
"The contents of a private letter were published unlawfully in an intentionally destructive manner to manipulate you, the reader, and further the divisive agenda of the media group in question," Harry said in his statement. "In addition to their unlawful publication of this private document, they purposely misled you by strategically omitting select paragraphs, specific sentences, and even singular words to mask the lies they had perpetuated for over a year."
A spokesperson for The Mail on Sunday later told E! News in a statement, "The Mail on Sunday stands by the story it published and will be defending this case vigorously. Specifically, we categorically deny that the Duchess' letter was edited in any way that changed its meaning."
Also last week, it was reported that Harry has launched legal proceedings against the owners of British tabloids The Sun and The Mirror over the alleged hacking of his phone. Buckingham Palace confirmed that claims were filed in court regarding alleged illegal interception of voicemail messages, and News Group, parent company of The Sun, confirmed a claim had been issued, according to The Guardian newspaper. It is unclear when the alleged hacking took place and the cases could span back many years.