The first hearing in Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's legal battle against British tabloid took place virtually in the London High Court on Friday. Schillings is the legal firm that is representing the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Meghan Markle is seeking damages for alleged misuse of private information after a letter she had written to her father was revealed to the media in 2019. Charges against the British newspapers group is misuse of private information, infringement of copyright and breach of the Data Protection Act 2018.
Daily Mail has alleged that Meghan Markle's five best friends could be called to give evidence in court about her father Thomas Markle. However, IBT UK has not been able to independently verify the information.
They could be called in to court to give evidence whether they colluded with the Duchess of Sussex to reveal the letter sent to her father. Meghan's friends in question could be asked under oath if the duchess knew about them giving interviews and mentioning the letter to the media.
Meanwhile, defence lawyers claim that Thomas Markle shared the letter with the tabloid after his daughter's friends gave interviews regarding it to a US magazine, in February 2019.
The letter in question accounts her intimate "thoughts and feelings" about her father's health and their relationship. Meghan and Prince Harry in their statement in January said that the letter was published "unlawfully in an intentionally destructive manner to manipulate" by the newspaper and its parent company. The couple has maintained that it was "obviously private correspondence" and the duchess did not expect the contents to be made public.
"The claimant intended the detailed contents of the letter to be private, and certainly did not expect them to be published to the world at large by a national newspaper, and without any warning," said Meghan and Harry's lawyers.
Earlier there were speculations that the actions might backfire and end up badly for the Sussexes. Meghan earlier did not comment on the mater, but now she has denied it.
Celebrity lawyer David Sherborne, who is acting for the duchess in the court case, specialises in privacy, confidentiality and defamation, as well as matrimonial and sports law. "[She] did not know that her friends were giving an interview to People magazine, let alone that one of them would refer to the letter," he wrote in the document filed in court.
Sherborne's client list includes Harry's mother Princess Diana. Some of his other famous clients are Donald and Melania Trump, Tony and Cherie Blair, Chelsea Clinton, Sir Paul McCartney, Kate Moss, David Walliams, Sir Elton John and David Furnish, the Spice Girls, Cheryl Cole, Harry Styles to name a few.