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How former aide Jason Knauf helped Meghan Markle win court battle over letter to her father

How former aide Jason Knauf helped Meghan Markle win court battle over letter to her father

  • Former Kensington Palace communications secretary rendered the Mail on Sunday’s case ‘unreal’
  • Mr Knauf did not believe he was ‘co-author’ of Meghan’s letter to her father  
  • Mr Justice Warby said Mr Knauf’s position was ‘unequivocal and definitive’
  • This had the effect of undermining the Mail on Sunday’s case  

The Duchess of Sussex won her copyright battle over a letter to her father after an ‘unequivocal and definitive’ intervention from her former aide, the High Court ruled yesterday.

Jason Knauf, former communications secretary at Kensington Palace, rendered the Mail on Sunday’s case ‘unreal’, said Lord Justice Warby.

Yesterday he handed another victory to Meghan as he ruled against the newspaper for publishing extracts from the letter she sent Thomas Markle after the 2018 royal wedding.

She had sued the title – the Daily Mail’s sister newspaper – for breach of privacy and copyright, and has now won on both points. 

The Duchess of Sussex won her copyright battle over a letter to her father after an ‘unequivocal and definitive’ intervention from her former aide, the High Court ruled yesterday

The duchess asked for the damages owed to her to reflect the money the newspaper made from publishing the articles about her letter.

The judge has ordered the Mail on Sunday and Mail Online to work out the profits – which will be considered at another court hearing in October.

But Lord Justice Warby threw out a claim by Meghan’s lawyers that the newspaper’s lawyers had acted dishonestly in the case. 

He ruled it had not been unreasonable for the newspaper to mount a defence to the duchess’s copyright claim on the basis that it believed evidence would show Mr Knauf had helped Meghan write the letter.

Jason Knauf, former communications secretary at Kensington Palace, rendered the Mail on Sunday's case 'unreal', said Lord Justice Warby

Jason Knauf, former communications secretary at Kensington Palace, rendered the Mail on Sunday’s case ‘unreal’, said Lord Justice Warby

Mr Knauf made it clear through his solicitors that although he had given the duchess advice on a draft, he did not believe this made him a ‘co-author’ and he had no claim on its copyright. 

The judge said Mr Knauf’s position was ‘unequivocal and definitive’, and had the effect of undermining the Mail on Sunday’s case.

A front page statement on the outcome of the case, ordered by Lord Justice Warby, is on hold pending the outcome of an application the Mail on Sunday has lodged with the Court of Appeal.

Yesterday it emerged Mr Knauf, who was also the official who made bullying claims against Meghan, allegations she denies, is to quit as chief executive of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s charitable foundation at the end of this year.

Mr Knauf, who worked for the couple for seven years, is said to have left because his husband has taken up a job overseas.

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