She made the claims in texts and emails released by London’s Court of Appeal on Friday. The messages were released as a result of the Duchess of Sussex’s lawsuit against Associated Newspaper Limited, publisher of MailOnline and The Mail on Sunday.
The publisher is trying to overturn a court decision that it breached the former American actress’ privacy by publishing portions of a handwritten letter she wrote to her father after she married the British prince in 2018. A High Court judge ruled in February that publication of the letter was “manifestly excessive and hence unlawful.”
In the messages, the 40-year-old told her former communications chief, Jason Knauf, about her plans to write a note to the former Hollywood lighting director who had given numerous interviews about his daughter.
“The catalyst for my doing this is seeing how much pain this is causing H,” Markle texted in August 2018, as quoted by People magazine. “Even after a week with his dad [Prince Charles] and endlessly explaining the situation, his family seem to forget the context – and revert to ‘can’t she just go and see him and make this stop?’”
“They fundamentally don’t understand so at least by writing H will be able to say to his family… ‘She wrote him a letter and he is still doing it,’” Markle continued. “By taking this form of action I protect my husband from this constant berating, and while unlikely perhaps it will give my father a moment to pause.”
“Obviously everything I have drafted is with the understanding that it could be leaked so I have been meticulous in my word choice,” Markle shared, noting she planned on writing the letter with numbered pages and few paragraph breaks so that it couldn’t be easily manipulated.
Markle also discussed her decision to write the note to “daddy.”
“Given I’ve only ever called him daddy it makes sense to open as such (despite him being less than paternal), and in the unfortunate event that it leaked it would pull at the heartstrings,” she wrote.
Associated Newspaper has disputed Markle’s claim that she didn’t intend the letter to be seen by anyone but her father. Attorney Andrew Caldecott told judges at the Court of Appeal in London that the correspondence between Markle and Knauf showed the duchess suspected that her father, 77, might leak the letter to journalists.
Caldecott said the letter was “crafted with readership by the public in mind,” and the former “Suits” star “was happy for the public to read if it Mr. Markle were to leak it.”
In her own written evidence, the duchess said she had not believed that her father “would sell or leak the letter, primarily because it would not put him in a good light.”
“To be clear, I did not want any of it to be published, and wanted to ensure that the risk of it being manipulated or misleadingly edited was minimized, were it to be exploited,” she said.
Recently, Markle apologized to the court for forgetting about her communications with Knauf in which she authorized him to speak to authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand of “Finding Freedom,” a sympathetic book about her relationship with Harry, 37.
The duchess’ lawyers have previously denied that she or Harry collaborated with the authors. But Knauf said in evidence to the court that he gave the writers information, and discussed it with the couple.
In a witness statement, Knauf said the book was “discussed directly with the duchess multiple times in person and over email.” Emails released as part of Knauf’s statement showed he also emailed Harry to discuss the book and to say he would meet the authors.
Knauf said Harry replied: “I totally agree that we have to be able to say we didn’t have anything to do with it. Equally, you giving the right context and background to them would help get some truths out there.”
In a witness statement made public on Wednesday, Markle accepted “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.” She added that “the extent of the information he shared is unknown to me.”
The duchess said she did not remember the discussions with Knauf when she gave evidence earlier in the case, “and I apologize 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,” she said.
Lawyers for the duchess told the Court of Appeal that if she had wanted to put the letter to her father in the public domain, the “Finding Freedom” book would have been the “perfect opportunity” to do so.
Caldecott argued that Thomas had the right to publicly rebut misleading claims about his relationship with Markle that surfaced in a 2019 People magazine interview with five of her close friends.
“Thomas Markle has been royally attacked in the People magazine [article]… and this is his reply,” he said.
A ruling is expected at a later date.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced in early 2020 that they were quitting royal duties and moving to North America, citing what they said were the unbearable intrusions and racist attitudes of the British press. They reside in Montecito, California with their two children.
A rep for Buckingham Palace did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.