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Meghan Markle’s Father Speaks Out on Releasing Private Letter: “I Have to Defend Myself”

Another wrinkle has emerged in the ongoing tabloid saga of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle suing Mail on Sunday for publishing excerpts of a private letter to Markle’s father. The man himself, Thomas Markle, denies any payment for leaking portions of the letter, and claims he’d only shared its content after a People story made it appear he’d dismissed Meghan’s attempts at reconciliation.

The story widened last Tuesday when the Duke of Sussex announced Meghan’s decision to sue the Mail’s parent company Associated Newspapers, citing a breach of the Data Protection Act of 2018, as well as “continual misrepresentations” and a “ruthless campaign” against Meghan. The five-page letter—sent by Markle to her father after the royal wedding—was characterized by one of Meghan’s unnamed friends as an attempt to repair their relationship. On Sunday, Thomas Markle told Mail on Sunday he’d intended to keep the letter private, but was incensed by the suggestion that he’d either replied only with interest in staging a photo-op between the pair or asked the Mail for money to publish the letter’s contents.

”I decided to release parts of the letter because of the article from Meghan’s friends in People magazine,” Thomas told the outlet. “I have to defend myself. I only released parts of the letter because other parts were so painful. The letter didn’t seem loving to me. I found it hurtful.” Thomas also disputed notions he’d made no attempts to contact Meghan after the royal wedding, reportedly providing unanswered texts and making an unanswered call to a number he’d previously reached Harry and Meghan at.

The original People piece alleged Thomas had attempted to capitalize on his daughter’s fame, and quoted one of Meghan’s friends as writing to her father, “Please stop victimising me through the media so we can repair our relationship.” Thomas instead characterizes his daughter’s letter as more of “a final farewell,” and resented the implication he’d rebuffed her efforts. “When I opened the letter I was hoping it was the olive branch I’d longed for,” Thomas told the Mail. “I was expecting something that would be a pathway to reconciliation. Instead it was deeply hurtful. I was so devastated I couldn’t show it to anyone—and never would have, had it not been for the People magazine piece which meant I had to release portions to defend myself.”

In his own statement against the Mail, Prince Harry claimed their publication of the letter “purposely misled you by strategically omitting select paragraphs, specific sentences, and even singular words to mask the lies they had perpetuated for over a year.” Thomas rebutted that this characterization of Meghan’s words was justified. “I don’t recognise the person who wrote the letter but I still love my daughter,” he stated. “All it would take is one phone call and most of this craziness would stop.”

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