As the hearings are set to take place remotely on Friday due to the coronavirus outbreak, court documents have been released that reveal shocking new details on the troubled relationship between Meghan and her estranged father, Thomas Markle. Meghan's U.K. lawyers shared the contents of several texts from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to Thomas leading up to their royal wedding as part of the 33-page response to The Mail on Sunday publishers.
The messages revolve around Thomas' accused involvement with the paparazzi, which he has since admitted to in public interviews.
One text from the court documents, dated May 14, 2018, comes from Prince Harry to his future father-in-law, and reads, "Tom, it's Harry and I'm going to call you right now. Please pick up, thank you."
The text came five days before the couple's nuptials and around the time of the alleged paparazzi collaboration. Harry later texted again, writing, “Tom, Harry again! Really need to speak to u. U do not need to apologize, we understand the circumstances but 'going public' will only make the situation worse. If u love Meg and want to make it right please call me as there are two other options which don’t involve u having to speak to the media, who incidentally created this whole situation. So please call me so I can explain. Meg and I are not angry, we just need to speak to u. Thanks."
In a third text message on the same day, Harry wrote, “Oh any speaking to the press WILL backfire, trust me Tom. Only we can help u, as we have been trying from day 1.”
The document also claims that Meghan found out about her father's heart attack and serious medical condition through his statement to TMZ. He did not contact her directly to share this information.
Days after the heart attack, Meghan wrote in a text on May 15, 2018, "I’ve been reaching out to you all weekend but you’re not taking any of our calls or replying to any texts… Very concerned about your health and safety and have taken every measure to protect you but not sure what more we can do if you don’t respond… Do you need help? Can we send the security team down again? I’m very sorry to hear you’re in the hospital but need you to please get in touch with us… What hospital are you at?"
Ten minutes after the first text, Meghan wrote again, saying, "Harry and I made a decision earlier today and are dispatching the same security guys you turned away this weekend to be a presence on the ground to make sure you’re safe… they will be there at your disposal as soon as you need them. Please, please call as soon as you can.. all of this is incredibly concerning but your health is most important."
According to the court documents, "due to the aggressive press intrusion," Meghan organized a car to take Thomas "to an alternative location for some time before the scheduled flight to London [for the royal wedding], and prior to Mr. Markle's cardiac problems, but he would not get into the car." Harry "pleaded with Mr. Markle to let them help him."
Thomas ended up not attending the couple's 2018 royal wedding and Meghan was instead walked down the aisle by her now-father-in-law, Prince Charles.
Another shocking reveal in the court documents is Meghan's claim that she "did not know that a number of her friends agreed to give an interview about her to People magazine."
In the interview, a friend referenced the letter to Meghan's father that the couple is suing the British tabloids for printing.
The court documents state that, "Whilst she appreciated that her close friends were concerned and distressed at the media coverage about her and were trying to help, the Claimant [Meghan] was distressed when she discovered that someone had made reference to the Letter (and her father’s response), albeit in passing and incorrectly."
In an interview with ET, royal expert Katie Nicholl opened up about the significance of Meghan and Harry's texts to her father being released.
"We're seeing a different narrative emerge. We've heard from Thomas... that he tried to reach out to Meghan and his calls and texts went unanswered. But here are new text messages from Meghan and Harry clearly reaching out to Thomas at this time," she pointed out.
Meghan and Harry have recently relocated to Los Angeles with their 11-month-old son, Archie, after officially stepping down from their role as working members of the royal family on March 31.
As for whether Meghan has recently been in touch with her father, Nicholl said, "Of course they're far closer geographically than they have been for years -- just a couple of hours away from each other -- [but there have been] no attempts to make any contact between the two of them."
For more on what Meghan and Harry have been up to since their exit, watch the clip below: