Meghan, Harry’s texts to dad revealed
Text messages the Duke and Duchess of Sussex sent to Meghan's father Thomas Markle in the lead up to their May 2018 wedding have been revealed in court documents, including the last time Meghan spoke to her dad.
The messages were contained in documents lodged in London's High Court Monday ahead of the first hearing of the case against Associated Newspapers, publisher of The Mail on Sunday and MailOnline, on Friday.
The Duchess has brought the case over the contents of a letter Meghan wrote to her dad which was quoted in the media. Text messages from days ahead of their May 2018 wedding show the couple begging Thomas Markle, 75, not to engage with the media.
"Tom, Harry again! Really need to speak to u," Prince Harry wrote.
"U do not need to apologize (sic), we understand the circumstances but 'going public' will only make the situation worse.
"If u love Meg and want to make it right please call me as there are two other options which don't involve u having to speak to the media, who incidentally created this whole situation.
"So please call me so I can explain. Meg and I are not angry, we just need to speak to u. Thanks.
"Oh any speaking to the press WILL backfire, trust me Tom. Only we can help u, as we have been trying from day 1."
The documents state Mr Markle, rather than responding directly, issued a statement via gossip website TMZ that he had gone into hospital after a heart attack.
It came after he was caught staging paparazzi photographs showing himself getting in shape and learning about Britain reading books.
Meghan later text her father to say: "I've been reaching out to you all weekend but you're not taking any of our calls or replying to any texts.
"Very concerned about your health and safety and have taken every measure to protect you but not sure what more we can do if you don't respond. "Do you need help? Can we send the security team down again? I'm very sorry to hear you're in the hospital but need you to please get in touch with us … What hospital are you at?"
A few minutes later she wrote. "Harry and I made a decision earlier today and are dispatching the same security guys you turned away this weekend to be a presence on the ground to make sure you're safe … they will be there at your disposal as soon as you need them.
"Please, please call as soon as you can … all of this is incredibly concerning but your health is most important."
The Suits actor missed a call from her father at 4.57am on the morning of her wedding and has not received any calls or messages from him since, the court papers said.
On the wedding day, Prince Charles ended up walking Meghan part of the way down the aisle and she completed the rest alone. Her mother, Doria Ragland, was her only family member in attendance.
Associated Newspapers has defended publishing its story and said the contents of Meghan's letter to her dad had already been leaked to US outlet, People. It also claims her royal status meant there is a legitimate public interest in her family relationships.
But lawyers for the Duchess of Sussex claim the paper created manipulated and sensationalised content that distorted the truth.
"It is the defendant's (unlawful) actions that give rise to the claimant's claim, and not her father's conduct," the papers state.
The documents were revealed just hours after the couple said they would adopt a "zero engagement" policy with Britain's tabloid press and no longer return calls or communicate with the outlets including The Sun, the Daily Mail, the Daily Express and the Daily Mirror.
The couple said the won't "offer themselves up as currency for an economy of click bait and distortion."
But Ian Murray, executive director of Britain's Society of Editors, said "there is no escaping their actions here amount to censorship and they are setting an unfortunate example."
The couple famously quit royal life earlier this year and have since moved to Los Angeles where they have been pictured handing out food to the homeless amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The case comes as the Duke of Edinburgh, 98, issued a statement thanking essential workers for their service during the pandemic. The Queen will turn 94 on April 21 and has cancelled a gun salute due to take place on her birthday for the first time in history.
Originally published as Meghan, Harry's texts to dad revealed