MEGHAN Markle won't face her dad in a public showdown after she won her latest legal battle – despite explosive claims that threatened her credibility.
The Duchess of Sussex, 40, sued the Mail on Sunday over the publication of the "personal and private" letter she sent to Thomas Markle in 2018.
The High Court issued a summary judgment in February – meaning she won without having to face a messy high-profile trial.
Publishers Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL) launched an appeal against the ruling – arguing the judge was not aware of all the facts at the time.
But judges at the Court of Appeal today ruled in Meghan's favour and dismissed the appeal.
She will now not have to come face-to-face with Mr Markle in a blockbuster showdown in court.
The Duchess released a scathing statement after the ruling as she accused the newspaper of treating the case as a "game with no rules".
Meghan added: "This is a victory not just for me, but for anyone who has ever felt scared to stand up for what's right."
Today's judgment read: "The Court of Appeal upheld the judge's decision that the duchess had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the contents of the letter.
"Those contents were personal, private and not matters of legitimate public interest.
"The articles in the Mail on Sunday interfered with the duchess' reasonable expectation of privacy and were not a justified or proportionate means of correcting inaccuracies about the letter."
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During the three-day appeal hearing, the court was presented with a string of sensational claims the newspaper alleged threatened her credibility.
Meghan even issued an apology to the court for misleading them after suffering an apparent memory lapse after it was revealed she shared emails over book Finding Freedom.
The Court of Appeal said the lapse was "unfortunate" but did not "bear on the issues raised in the grounds of appeal".
Other allegations centred around the letter she wrote her dad in 2018 that breached her copyright and privacy.
Meghan maintained previously she sent her estranged father the "heartfelt" five-page letter after they reached "breaking point".
But in a fresh statement, she said she only wrote the 1,250-word note on advice of senior royals "A" and "B" after "significant pressure" was put on her and Prince Harry.
Meghan also claimed the "catalyst" for writing the letter was "seeing how much pain" it was causing her husband.
And she lashed out at the royals – accusing them of "constantly berating" Harry over her dad's actions in a text to her former press secretary.
The messages – revealed in court – were sent to Jason Knauf in August 2018 after the couple stayed with Prince Charles.
Meghan added: "Even after a week with his dad and endlessly explaining the situation, his family seem to forget the context and revert to 'can't she just go and see him and make this stop?'
"They fundamentally don't understand so at least by writing [Harry] will be able to say to his family, 'she wrote him a letter and he's still doing it'.
"By taking this form of action I protect my husband from this constant berating and while unlikely, perhaps it will give my father a moment to pause."
In his witness statement, Mr Knauf claimed Meghan had emailed with an electronic draft of the letter asking if anything stood out as a "liability".
The papers read: "She also asked a specific question regarding addressing Mr Markle as ‘Daddy’ in the letter, saying ‘given I’ve only ever called him daddy it may make sense to open as such (despite him being less than paternal), and in the unfortunate event that it leaked it would pull at the heartstrings."
It came at a time when Mr Markle missed his daughter's wedding after suffering a heart attack and repeatedly spoke to the media.
Mr Knauf suggested she reference her dad's health problems in the letter as it is his "best opening for criticism and sympathy".
The duchess replies saying it is a "very valid point" and says she will attempt to squeeze it into the five page, 1,250-word letter.
Meghan also explained how she feared the letter would leak and said she had been "meticulous" in her wording.
Meghan’s latest statement in full
In a statement after the ruling, Meghan said: "This is a victory not just for me, but for anyone who has ever felt scared to stand up for what's right.
"While this win is precedent setting, what matters most is that we are now collectively brave enough to reshape a tabloid industry that conditions people to be cruel and profits from the lies and pain that they create.
"From day one, I have treated this lawsuit as an important measure of right versus wrong. The defendant has treated it as a game with no rules.
"The longer they dragged it out, the more they could twist facts and manipulate the public (even during the appeal itself), making a straightforward case extraordinarily convoluted in order to generate more headlines and sell more newspapers – a model that rewards chaos above truth.
"In the nearly three years since this began, I have been patient in the face of deception, intimidation and calculated attacks.
"Today, the courts ruled in my favour – again – cementing that The Mail on Sunday, owned by Lord Jonathan Rothermere, has broken the law.
"The courts have held the defendant to account and my hope is that we all begin to do the same.
"Because as far removed as it may seem from your personal life, it's not. Tomorrow it could be you.
"These harmful practices don't happen once in a blue moon – they are a daily fail that divide us and we all deserve better."
Other evidence also emerged claiming Meghan and Harry had co-operated with the authors of Finding Freedom – despite their previous denials.
Emails between her and Mr Knauf show the aide sat down for two hours with the writers to discuss a string of "briefing points" Meghan wanted him to share.
These included personal stories about Meghan's family – including how her half-sister Samantha "had lost custody of all three of her children from different fathers".
Mr Knauf also claimed in his witness statement he "authorised specific cooperation in writing in December 2018" to the book's authors.
He said "the book was discussed directly with the Duchess multiple times in person and over email".
But he added as far as he knows, neither Harry or Meghan met directly with writers Omid Scobie or Carolyn Durand during his time as press secretary.
The royal apologised to the court for not remembering the email exchange agreeing Mr Knauf could provide information to the authors.
Meghan sensationally won the privacy row in February after it published extracts of the handwritten note to her dad.
She said the articles misused her private information, infringed her copyright and breached the Data Protection Act.
Lord Justice Warby said publication of the letter was "manifestly excessive and hence unlawful".
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