Meghan Markle's Dad Reveals Why He Chose to Share the Letter That Led to Prince Harry's Tabloid Lawsuit

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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
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Meghan Markle's dad is addressing his decision to release a private letter penned by the Duchess of Sussex, which sparked a recent lawsuit filed by Prince Harry against several U.K. tabloids.

On Saturday, Thomas Markle released a comment to The Daily Mail -- one of the publications facing the Duke of Sussex's lawsuit -- claiming that he had held onto the letter for several months after receiving it in August 2018 before revealing selected sections to the publication back in February.

"I decided to release parts of the letter because of the article from Meghan’s friends in People magazine," Thomas said, referring to a report from People in February in which an unnamed friend of the actress referred to the handwritten letter she'd written to her father as having a message of reconciliation, which Thomas said is untrue.

"I have to defend myself… The letter didn’t seem loving to me. I found it hurtful," Thomas stated. "The letter was presented in a way that vilified me and wasn’t true. It was presented as her reaching out and writing a loving letter in the hope of healing the rift, but the letter isn’t like that at all."

According to the People interview with the Duchess of Sussex's friend, Thomas wrote a letter back to his daughter asking for a photo opportunity with her, which Meghan allegedly interpreted as her father not understanding why she'd been upset with him in the first place.

Thomas told the Daily Mail that it was a "tragic misunderstanding" and was only hoping to share a photo op with his daughter to show the world that they'd rebuilt their relationship, and referenced a photo Meghan and Harry had taken with Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland. (Who, famously, attended the couple's royal wedding, while Thomas declined to attend, citing health concerns.)

"When Doria was photographed with Meghan and Harry for the first time it showed she was part of the family," Thomas stated. "I don’t want a picture for any other reason than if we show harmony then the press will back off."

Ultimately, Thomas said the letter his daughter had written wasn't a message of reconciliation or love, and one thing that upset him specifically is that she hadn't expressed concern for his recent health struggles.

"There was no loving message in there, nothing asking about my health, nothing from her saying, 'Let’s get together and heal our differences,'" Thomas claimed. "When I opened the letter I was hoping it was the olive branch I’d longed for. I was expecting something that would be a pathway to reconciliation. Instead it was deeply hurtful."

Following the publication of portions of the letter in The Daily Mail, the Duke and Duchess announced last Tuesday that they would be pursuing legal action against Associated Newspapers, owners of The Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, MailOnline and Metro.

The Prince released a lengthy statement regarding the lawsuit that accused the publications of printing "relentless propaganda" and waging a "ruthless campaign that has escalated over the past year, throughout her pregnancy and while raising our newborn son."

One part of the statement specifically accused the Mail of editing the letter, writing, "In addition to their unlawful publication of this private document, they purposely misled you by strategically omitting select paragraphs, specific sentences, and even singular words to mask the lies they had perpetuated for over a year."

In a statement to ET, a Mailon Sunday spokesman said: "The Mailon Sunday stands by the story it published and will be defending this case vigorously. Specifically, we categorically deny that the Duchess’s letter was edited in any way that changed its meaning."

According to Thomas' recent remarks to The Daily Mail, he didn't initially disclose the entirety of his daughter's letter.

"I only released parts of the letter because other parts were so painful," he stated. He also categorically denied receiving payment for releasing the letter, which he claims hurt him deeply.

"I don’t recognize the person who wrote the letter but I still love my daughter," he stated. "All it would take is one phone call and most of this craziness would stop."

Royal expert Katie Nicholl recently spoke with ET about the Prince's lawsuit, and said it came "as a complete surprise" to the press.

"This news came as a bombshell not just to the British press pack but to palace aide some of whom are kept in the dark about the announcement," Nicholl explained, adding that prince wanted the lawsuit to be announced before he returned to the UK following his royal tour of Africa.

"He is considering it a warning shot to the press," Nicholl shared. "He's making a very clear statement he is laying down the law and he is saying, quite simply, enough is enough."

For more on the drama surrounding the Duchess of Sussex' family, watch the video below.

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