MEGHAN Markle’s “credibility” was sensationally questioned at the Court of Appeal yesterday after bombshell new evidence was submitted by one of her closest former aides.
The evidence of Jason Knauf allegedly shows Meghan’s account is “materially false” and “raises questions about her credibility”, the appeal hearing was told.
The messages are said to contradict a picture painted by a People magazine article in February 2019 that her father was uncaring.
Meghan denies knowing that five of her friends spoke about her to the magazine — which led to Thomas relaying the letter’s contents to The Mail on Sunday.
Mr Knauf was Harry’s communications secretary for four years from February 2015, and Meghan’s following the pair’s marriage.
It later emerged he reported claims of bullying made by staff against Meghan to palace top brass.
The claims are vigorously denied by Meghan.
Mr Knauf still works for Prince William and Kate.
Andrew Caldecott QC, for The Mail on Sunday, told the court that Meghan’s letter to her father “was crafted specifically with possibility of public consumption in mind”.
Meghan is opposing Mr Knauf’s statement being introduced and has written a 23-page response.
Mr Caldecott told the court: “At about the same time the People article appeared — it is actually slightly earlier — the claimant cooperated with the authors of the book, later entitled Finding Freedom, through her communications secretary Mr Knauf in autumn and winter 2018.
“The claimant expressly denied any such cooperation in her pleaded case with one minor exception. That is now contradicted evidence of Mr Knauf.”
Mr Caldecott said: “The first point we make is this, we read the judgment as implicitly accepting the letter was crafted as an intimate communication for her father’s eyes only, that is how the claimant’s case was put before the judge both in writing and orally.
“That fundamental point turns out to be false on new evidence.
“The letter was crafted specifically with the possibility of public consumption in mind because the claimant appreciated Mr Markle might disclose it to media.
“That nuanced position was not before the judge.”
‘QUESTIONS ABOUT CREDIBILITY’
Mr Caldecott said the “new evidence” from Knauf could have changed the judge’s original ruling.
He added: “The claimant’s pleaded case can be seen to be materially false in important respect by reference to contemporaneous documents.”
And he said this raises “questions about her credibility”.
In written submissions to the High Court hearing in February, Justin Rushbrooke QC, for Meghan, said: “The claimant and her husband did not collaborate with the authors on the book, nor were they interviewed for it, nor did they provide photographs.”
The court of Appeal was told Mr Markle sent Meghan affectionate texts prior to her wedding.
Mr Caldecott read out: “On 11th of May, ‘Thank you I am getting excited it’s all so close now I can’t wait to walk you down the aisle’.
“Then we get apology about paparazzi photographs that is accepted by Prince Harry.
“Then 16th of May, ‘surgery went OK heart attack did some damage the doctor won’t allow me to fly so sorry I can’t come, love you and wish you the best of everything.’
Mr Caldecott added: “This is a completely different picture to the picture presented by the People article, never called, never texted, just ignored her.”
Meghan’s legal team are opposing the appeal and argue the High Court judge reached the right conclusions on evidence before him.
The publisher’s appeal is being heard over three days.
Last night Meghan insisted she was “standing up for what was right” in the court fight.
She told the New York Times: “It’s an arduous process. At a certain point, no matter how difficult it is, you know the difference between right and wrong. You must stand up for what’s right and that’s what I’m doing.”
Meghan had travelled to New York with Harry, 37, to chat as part of an online summit.