Jason Knauf is getting credit for being the lynchpin of Duchess Meghan’s lawsuit
On the very same day (Wednesday) that we got the announcement about Jason Knauf’s impending resignation, Knauf was given credit for “helping” the Duchess of Sussex win her lawsuit against the Mail on Sunday. For months, the Mail’s lawyers claimed they had sources/evidence that Jason Knauf was co-author of Meghan’s letter to her father, therefore the copyright of the letter did not belong to Meghan alone. The lawsuit dragged out because of this supposed fuzziness around the copyright until Knauf submitted a letter to the court clarifying that he merely read Meghan’s letter and offered a suggestion about something she should include (a reference to Thomas Markle’s health). Incidentally, we also know that Knauf was in contact with Thomas Markle throughout 2018, even past the time when Meghan stopped speaking to her toxic father. But anyway, there’s an update on Meghan’s lawsuit and Knauf’s involvement:
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 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.
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.
[From The Daily Mail]
Giving Knauf credit for telling the truth at the eleventh hour, as if he was doing Meghan some kind of favor, isn’t sitting well with me. I’ll be honest, I have a good memory for details, but this lawsuit and all of the contradictory reporting around it (much of it coming from the Mail) has left me confused about so much. I have many conspiracy theories about all of this, and I know I’m not alone. I think Knauf was actively leaking against Meghan, specifically about this lawsuit, and it would not surprise me at all if Knauf was running to the Mail for the past two years in the hopes of hurting Meghan’s case. I also think Knauf’s conversations with Thomas Markle should be examined in greater detail. But it’s *so weird* that suddenly Knauf intervened in Meghan’s favor and just as suddenly, he’s stepping down from the Royal Foundation. When Meghan’s lawsuit really started to go her way, I had the sense that powerful strings were being pulled and favors were being called in, all so there wouldn’t be further examination of the toxic cesspool that is Clarence House and Kensington Palace. Maybe we’ll never know what really happened here.
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