Meghan Markle Called Father ‘Daddy’ in Letter in Case Leaked: Report

  • Meghan Markle said she called her father “Daddy” in a letter with the knowledge it could be leaked.
  • Writing in a text to a former aide, Markle said the word “would pull at the heart strings.”
  • The texts were read in England and Wales’ Court of Appeal on Wednesday. 

Meghan Markle said in a text message to a former palace aide that she called her father “Daddy” in a letter knowing that it could be leaked, The Telegraph’s royal correspondent Hannah Furness reports.

The Duchess of Sussex sent drafts of a letter to Jason Knauf, her former communications secretary at Kensington Palace, before sending it to her estranged father Thomas Markle in 2019, The Telegraph reports. Excerpts from the letter were published by British newspaper the Mail on Sunday later that year.

Meghan sued the newspaper over the misuse of private information, infringement of copyright, and breach of the Data Protection Act 2008 earlier this year. Text messages regarding the letter were read in England and Wales’ Court of Appeal on Wednesday, as the Mail on Sunday argues that the previous court ruling that it breached privacy and copyright laws should be appealed, according to The Telegraph.

Thomas Markle

Thomas Markle on Good Morning Britain.

Good Morning Britain


“Obviously everything I’ve drafted is with the understanding that it could be leaked, so I have been meticulous in my word choice. But please do let me know if anything stands out for you as a liability,” Meghan wrote to Knauf in texts read out in court, The Telegraph reports.

According to The Telegraph, a second message read: “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 heart strings.”

In a witness statement from Meghan that was provided to Insider by her representatives, she said she did not want any part of the letter to be published. Speaking of the letter in her statement, Meghan said she “wanted to ensure that the risk of it being manipulated or misleadingly edited was minimized.”

The duchess added in the statement that she had denied Knauf’s request to show the letter to Samantha Cohen, her private secretary at the time. 

“That is important because, as the Private Secretary, Ms Cohen was our most trusted and closest confidant next to Mr Knauf,” Meghan wrote in the witness statement. “Even so, this Letter was so private that I did not want its contents shared with anyone in my work environment despite feeling obliged to make Mr Knauf aware of it.”

In a text message to Knauf, the duchess said she “toiled over every detail” of the letter, according to her statement.

“If he [Thomas Markle] leaks it that’s on his conscience, but at least the world will know the truth. Words I could never voice publicly,” the duchess wrote in another text to Knauf, according to The Telegraph.

Knauf told the court that Meghan chose to write a letter instead of an email so that it would not be forwarded and cut and pasted, The Telegraph reports. According to the publication, Knauf said that Meghan numbered the pages and deliberately ended each page partway through a sentence so that “no page could be falsely presented as the end of the letter.”

Knauf added that Meghan made one change to the letter, The Telegraph reports, following his suggestion to mention her father’s health.

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