Now Meghan blasts book that fawned on her and Harry: Biography is inaccurate and anodyne, the duchess’s OWN lawyer tells court
- Jenny Afia said that the Finding Freedom authors had relied on creative licence
- Book says Harry and Meghan stayed at Meno A Kwena safari camp on edge of Makgadikgadi Pans
- Afia said Meghan ‘has never visited nor been on safari to the Makgadikgadi Pans’
A gushing biography of the Duchess of Sussex is inaccurate and anodyne, her lawyer said yesterday.
In court papers, Jenny Afia said the authors of Finding Freedom had relied on creative licence to produce their best-selling account of Meghan and Harry’s lives.
Miss Afia is representing the 39-year-old duchess in her privacy battle against the Mail on Sunday. Meghan is suing the newspaper for publishing extracts of a letter she sent her estranged father Thomas Markle.
The newspaper argues the letter as well as photographs and other personal information feature in the biography – showing the duchess had permitted details of her life to be shared.
In court papers, Jenny Afia said the authors of Finding Freedom had relied on creative licence to produce their best-selling account of Meghan and Harry’s lives
But Miss Afia branded many of the book’s intimate anecdotes as ‘either extremely anodyne and/or I understand are the product of creative licence and/or are inaccurate’.
As an example she said the book detailed the duchess’s ‘hygiene and bathroom routines’ on a holiday in Botswana.
Finding Freedom says the pair stayed at the Meno A Kwena safari camp on the edge of Makgadikgadi Pans national park.
But Miss Afia said Meghan ‘has never visited nor been on safari to the Makgadikgadi Pans’ and the couple ‘have never been together to Meno A Kwena – only the Duke of Sussex has’.
An account of their first date included what they drank – a beer for him, Martini for her – what they talked about and whether or not they kissed along with the content of their follow-up text messages. Miss Afia insisted the book’s account was incorrect.
She provided a long list of other alleged inaccuracies as part of a witness statement for the High Court case. The authors, Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, claim to have spoken to 100 sources ‘close to’ the couple and to the couple themselves.
Lawyers for the Mail on Sunday told the court Meghan ‘does not object to details… being publicly disclosed, provided that such disclosure is couched in terms that are favourable and flattering’.
They told the court on Monday there were details in the book that could only have come from Harry and Meghan themselves. In response, Miss Afia’s witness statement set out examples of mistakes in the book which she said showed there was no collusion between the royals and the authors.
She said many supposed insights had been simply copied from public sources such as newspapers, social media and TV.
Quotes about the couple’s first date – such as Harry thinking: ‘I am really going to have to up my game here’ – were taken from their engagement interview on BBC1 in November 2017.
Big seller: Finding Freedom
A passage about Harry’s feelings after the birth of his son Archie appears to be the product of creative licence, said Miss Afia.
The book says the duke texted his father with details of the birth, but the lawyer said: ‘I understand that it is widely known that the Prince of Wales does not have a mobile phone.’
She also rubbishes a description of Meghan calling a friend on FaceTime from the bath and talking about sending a ‘final message’ to her father. Miss Afia said this was incorrect because it was not the last time Meghan had messaged Thomas Markle.
An account of Harry, 36, meeting his prospective mother-in-law Doria Ragland in Los Angeles – at which they enjoyed ‘the most delicious sashimi’ – was again based on the authors’ creative licence, according to Miss Afia.
She added: ‘I understand that in fact the Duke of Sussex did not meet Meghan’s mother for the first time in Los Angeles. Indeed, the first time he and the duchess were ever in Los Angeles together was in 2020 when they relocated with their son.’
Meghan has denied ‘collaborating’ with Mr Scobie and Miss Durand, who say they did not interview the couple directly.
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