THE Duchess of Sussex’s father has claimed he paid tens of thousands of dollars for his daughter’s school fees and was paying off her student loan as her acting career took off.
The claims form part of a newspaper’s defence against a legal action brought by Meghan for publishing a private letter she sent to Thomas Markle in 2018.
Mr Markle said she sent him only occasional “modest” financial gifts after landing a role in the hit TV series Suits, even though he was still paying off her university debt.
In her letter, Meghan allegedly accuses her father of telling the press “you’ve never helped me financially and you’ve never asked me for help”, calling the claims “untrue”.
But in documents submitted to the High Court, Mr Markle denies accusing Meghan of failing to help him financially, saying her gifts were greatly appreciated.
Listing the financial assistance Mr Markle claims to have given his daughter, the documents state: “Mr Markle had supported the claimant throughout her youth.
“He had paid her private school fees. He had paid all her college tuition and after she left North-western University he continued to pay off her student loans even after she had landed a well-paid role in Suits.
Meghan with her father Thomas before the rift between the pair began (Image: TIM STEWART NEWS LIMITED)
Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex (Image: Getty Images)
“She did send him financial gifts occasionally, although he was still repaying her student loans.”
Mr Markle said he continued to support Meghan when she returned to Los Angeles to look for acting jobs and he sold $20,000 (£15,348) of Facebook shares to fund her first wedding to producer Trevor Engelson in 2011.
The documents state: “However, since May 2018 (Meghan) has not supported him in any way, despite the fact that, as she knows, he has been ill and therefore has medical expenses, not all of which are covered by his insurance.”
The Duchess’s case against Associated Newspapers alleges the publication of the letter amounts to misuse of private information, infringement of copyright and breach of the Data Protection Act 2018. In its defence statement, the company said the Duchess’s decision not to assist her father was “deserving of criticism”.
Meghan Markle, pictured as a child with her father (Image: TIM STEWART NEWS LIMITED)
It said Meghan had done nothing to support her father since May 2017, a year before her wedding to Harry. It said: “In light of the claimant’s very considerable means and resources, reasonable people may well take the view of her failure to support him in any way, financially or emotionally is deserving of criticism. That view is not an allegation that is verifiably false.” Associated Newspapers’ legal team said in a document: “If the claimant had been or was concerned about her father and his welfare, she would not have cut her father, a sick 75-year-old man, out of her life.”
Mr Markle is the main witness for Associated Newspapers and if the case reaches court, he could be called to testify with the retired lighting director reportedly saying he would be prepared to face his daughter in court. No date has been set for a court hearing.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK