Prince Harry‘s wife is in the middle of a lawsuit against the Mail on Sunday and its parent company over excerpts from a “private and confidential” letter she wrote to her father that the newspaper published last year. New documents filed in the case claim that her relationship with Thomas Markle didn’t go south until U.K. publications began digging into her family life.
The Duchess of Sussex’s lawyers wrote in a new filing obtained by The Guardian that the father and daughter duo “had a very close father/daughter relationship throughout her childhood and remained close until he was targeted three years ago by intrusive UK tabloid media.”
The court papers continue to allege Meghan made “substantial” financial contributions to her father from 2014 when she was best known for her role on “Suits,” according to the outlet. The Duchess then cut off support to her father in May 2018, when their relationship deteriorated amid drama surrounding her royal wedding.
The Mail on Sunday requested evidence of Meghan’s financial claims through court filings and alleged that she had not reimbursed Thomas for her college student loans. In response, Markle’s attorneys said the Duchess “always maintained full-time jobs while auditioning, both as a professional calligrapher as well as working in a restaurant,” the report said.
Thomas “gave occasional financial support to [her], just as she provided reciprocal financial support to him once she began earning,” the documents continue.
The lawsuit touches on other aspects of Markle’s personal life. Last week, Markle asked a British court to order the newspaper to refrain from publishing the names of five friends who previously defended her in a U.S. magazine on the condition of anonymity.
In her statement, which was filed in Britain’s High Court, she claims that the newspaper has threatened to publish the names of five women who spoke to People anonymously. However, because they’re named in confidential court documents at the heart of the lawsuit, their condition of anonymity has been called into question.
“For the Mail on Sunday to expose them in the public domain for no reason other than clickbait and commercial gain is vicious and poses a threat to their emotional and mental well-being,’’ Meghan said in the statement. “The Mail on Sunday is playing a media game with real lives.”
Despite the Duchess of Sussex’s claims, the newspaper said it has “no intention’’ of publishing the names this weekend. But it said the court should decide on the confidentiality to which Meghan’s friends are entitled.
Meghan’s civil lawsuit accuses the newspaper and its publisher, Associated Newspapers, of copyright infringement, misuse of private information and violating the U.K.’s data protection law with the publication of the letter.
The newspaper also argues there is “huge and legitimate public interest in the royal family and the activities, conduct and standards of behavior of its members.″
It argues this extends not merely to their public conduct, but “to their personal and family relationships because those are integral to the proper functioning of the monarchy.”
Fox News’ Tyler McCarthy and The Associated Press contributed to this report.