Duchess of Sussex's lawyers withdraw claims of 'harassment and humiliation' against Mail on Sunday

Hannah Furness
The Duchess of Sussex - PA

The Duchess of Sussex’s lawyers have withdrawn accusations that the Mail on Sunday harassed, humiliated, exposed and manipulated ‘fragile’ Thomas Markle as they resubmit their court claim minus 357 words.

The Duchess’s legal team has filed an amended version of their case against the newspaper, following a strike-out hearing in May.

She is suing Associated Newspapers over the publication of parts of the handwritten letter to her father, which she claims breached her privacy, along with copyright and data protection laws.  

Her representatives had argued they should be allowed to build a picture of the newspaper’s “bad faith” and “obvious agenda of publishing intrusive or offensive stories” about her.

Mr Justice Warby struck out those claims in a written judgement last month, saying they were irrelevant in law, presented to the court inadequately, or were disproportionate to investigate.

The Duchess’s team has now resubmitted paperwork deleting paragraphs of the original claim as required by the court.

Retracted allegations include that the Mail on Sunday ”harassed and humiliated” and “deliberately manipulated and exploited a vulnerable and fragile individual” in the form of Mr Markle, the Duchess’s father,

It also deleted a claim that the newspaper had “already published articles containing false or misleading information” about Frogmore Cottage and its funding.

The Mail on Sunday has consistently denied the allegations.

No date has been set for the full trial yet.

Meghan visits The Mayhew in 2019

Separately, it emerged that the Duchess has sponsored a kennel at her patronage The Mayhew, in the name of her son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.

Writing the foreword to the charity’s annual review, she said: “As I write, the Covid-19 crisis is gripping every country in the world and destabilising the lives of countless families across the UK.

“I am proud of how Mayhew have responded by finding new ways to support animals and people in these uncertain times.”

Referring to a scheme in which donors can pay £5 or £10 a month to sponsor a kennel, she added: “As an expression of my own commitment, I renewed my sponsorship of a dog kennel in the name of our son, Archie, to create an interim home for a pet in need.

"I hope you will show them your support in whatever ways you can. When you do, you will be contributing not just to animal welfare but to the shared welfare of us all.”