Royal Corner

Meghan Markle DID Collude with 'Finding Freedom' Book

The Duchess of Sussex has admitted that she allowed a friend to speak with authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand in court statement.


NOVEMBER 18th, 2020

© Getty Images

M

eghan Markle has admitted in court documents that she allowed a friend to provide personal information to the authors of the controversial biography ‘Finding Freedom’. The Duchess of Sussex claimed that a third party intervened on her direction to stop any “false narrative” over her relationship with her father, and so that “the true position could be communicated.”

The couple intially denied any involvement in the book - © Getty Images


The revelations come after the Duchess was ordered to respond to allegations made by the Mail on Sunday’s lawyers that Meghan and her husband Prince Harry had willingly contacted the authors of the book with personal information. Earlier this year both the couple’s legal team and authors of ‘Finding Freedom’, Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, all denied the allegations.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s statement at the time read: "This book is based on the authors' own experiences as members of the royal press corps and their own independent reporting."



Later, after the judge allowed the biography to be included in the defence of the Mail of Sunday – who are being sued by Meghan for breaching copyright of a private letter the Duchess wrote to her father, Thomas Markle – her legal team responded to the claims saying: “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 to the authors for the book.”

Omid Scobie is one of the authors of the 'Finding Freedom' biography - © Getty Images


Even Mr Scobie, who co-wrote the controversial biography, admitted a witness statement on behalf of Meghan’s legal claim saying: “They did not authorise the Book and have never been interviewed for it.

"The Book was always prepared on the understanding that it was to be independent and unauthorised. As journalists we wanted to be able to look into the other side of the story without worrying about offending any collaborators/sources."



The author’s statement, however, did not determine whether the Duchess had instructed her friends to speak to himself of Ms Durand on her behalf. Mr Scobie only claimed that the contact between himself and the couple came from a direct correspondence on official engagements and were not related to the ‘Finding Freedom’ book.

The revelations could prove damning for Meghan’s case as well as her and her husband’s public reputations. With such strong denials of involvement with the biography, Meghan’s confession now brings into question her involvement with an earlier article in PEOPLE Magazine where the letter was first mentioned.

Furthermore, the Duchess also admitted that members of the Kensington Palace’s communication teams, including their then Private Secretary Jason Knauf, “provided feedback” in the form of “general ideas” to help write the letter. This punctures a consistent narrative adopted by Harry and Meghan that they were abandoned by the palace “grey suits” and left to fend for themselves.

Thomas Markle released the letter to the Mail on Sunday - © PA


The future implications of Meghan’s confession could prove problematic for the couple, who are currently living in LA. It has the potential to raise questions over how much more information did they allow their friends to feed to the ‘Finding Freedom’ authors and whether any future protestations for privacy will be deemed valid by the public.

The trial, which was originally expected to begin in January next year, has since been postponed by nine months due to “confidential reasons”, and will instead go ahead in Autumn 2021.

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