Meghan complains to BBC after media editor says Duchess of Sussex ‘apologised for misleading a court’ during privacy case
Written by Hitmix News on 19 January 2022
The Duchess of Sussex has complained to the BBC after its media editor said she apologised for misleading a court during her legal case against the Mail on Sunday.
Meghan asked for clarification from the corporation that she had actually apologised for “not remembering” that she knew a former aide had helped with controversial royal biography Finding Freedom.
A statement issued by the BBC on its website under Corrections and Clarifications said: “We stated that the Duchess of Sussex apologised for misleading the court in her case against Associated Newspaper Group.
“The Duchess of Sussex has asked us to clarify that she apologised to the court for not remembering email exchanges with her former communications secretary, Jason Knauf, in her evidence, and said that she had no intention to mislead the court.”
Image: The BBC’s media editor Amol Rajan
BBC media editor Amol Rajan had said in the Harry, Meghan And The Media podcast that the duchess cooperated with Finding Freedom author Omid Scobie and Meghan “apologised for misleading a court on this”.
The book, written by Mr Scobie and Carolyn Durand, was published in 2020 and the issue of how much she knew about it came up in her case against the newspaper.
The duchess’ lawyers said at the High Court in September 2020 that accusations Meghan “collaborated” with the writers was a “conspiracy theory”.
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But two months later it emerged that she allowed an unnamed individual to speak to the authors to prevent “further misinformation”.
Mr Knauf told the Court of Appeal a year later that he discussed the book on a routine basis.
Meghan, he said, gave him several briefing points to share with the authors, including about her childhood relationship with her half-siblings.
In a written statement to the Court of Appeal in November 2021, the duchess said: “I accept that Mr Knauf did provide some information to the authors for the book and that he did so with my knowledge, for a meeting that he planned for with the authors in his capacity as communications secretary.
“The extent of the information he shared is unknown to me.
“When I approved the passage…I did not have the benefit of seeing these emails and I apologise to the court for the fact that I had not remembered these exchanges at the time. I had absolutely no wish or intention to mislead the defendant or the court.”
Mr Rajan said on the podcast: “It has since been revealed that Meghan Markle co-operated with him [Scobie] on the project. She’s apologised for misleading a court on this.”
Meghan won her long-running High Court case against Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL) – publisher of the Mail On Sunday and Mail Online – after suing over five articles that reproduced parts of a “personal and private letter” to her father.
In December, the Court of Appeal denied ANL’s request to take the case to trial.
She was awarded £1, a “substantial” undisclosed sum for copyright infringement, and £300,000 of her legal costs earlier this month.
It is not the first time Mr Rajan has incurred the royals’ displeasure.
His documentary about Harry and William’s relationship with the media was jointly criticised by the royal households – Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Kensington Palace – for giving credibility to “overblown and unfounded claims”.
A Christmas carol service led by the Duchess of Cambridge, due to be shown by the BBC, was moved to ITV as a result.
Mr Rajan later apologised for comments he made a decade ago when he called the Duke of Edinburgh a “racist buffoon” and the Prince of Wales “scientifically illiterate”, while writing for The Independent.
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