The Duchess of Sussex has complained to the BBC about Amol Rajan’s reporting of her legal case against the Mail On Sunday in his podcast.
Rajan, who fronted BBC Two’s controversial The Princes And The Press documentary, said in his accompanying Harry, Meghan And The Media show that Meghan cooperated with author Omid Scobie on the Finding Freedom biography and “apologised for misleading a court on this”.
A statement issued by the BBC on its website under Corrections and Clarifications said: “We stated that the Duchess of Sussex apologised for misleading the court in her case against Associated Newspaper Group.
“The Duchess of Sussex has asked us to clarify that she apologised to the court for not remembering email exchanges with her former communications secretary, Jason Knauf, in her evidence, and said that she had no intention to mislead the court.”
The BBC’s Media Editor @amolrajan presents The Princes and The Press – the definitive story of one of the most dramatic periods of royal history for a generation.
— BBC News Press Team (@BBCNewsPR) November 5, 2021
It is the latest run-in with the royals for the BBC’s Media Editor Rajan.
His documentary about Harry and William’s relationship with the media was jointly criticised by the royal households – Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Kensington Palace – for giving credibility to “overblown and unfounded claims”, and prompted the broadcast of a Christmas carol service led by the Duchess of Cambridge to be moved from the BBC to ITV.
Rajan later apologised for critical comments he made about the royal family a decade ago, when, writing for the Independent newspaper which he used to edit, he called the Duke of Edinburgh a “racist buffoon” and the Prince of Wales “scientifically illiterate”.
1/ In reference to very reasonable questions about some foolish commentary from a former life, I want to say I deeply regret it. I wrote things that were rude and immature and I look back on them now with real embarrassment, and ask myself what I was thinking, frankly… (cont’d)
— Amol Rajan (@amolrajan) December 2, 2021
Meghan won her long-running case against Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL) – publisher of the Mail On Sunday and Mail Online – after suing over five articles that reproduced parts of a “personal and private letter” to her father.
The issue came up in court as to whether Meghan and the Duke of Sussex helped authors Scobie and Carolyn Durand with the Finding Freedom book about their lives.
The duchess’ lawyers said in 2020 that accusations Meghan “collaborated” with the writers was a “conspiracy theory”, but two months later it emerged that Meghan allowed an unnamed individual to speak to Scobie and Durand to prevent “further misinformation”.
Meghan and Harry’s former communications secretary Jason Knauf went on to tell the Court of Appeal a year later that he discussed the book on a routine basis, with Meghan giving him several briefing points to share with the authors, including about her childhood relationship with her half-siblings.
In a written statement to the Court of Appeal in November, the duchess said: “I apologise to the court for the fact that I had not remembered these exchanges at the time. I had absolutely no wish or intention to mislead the defendant or the court.”
Rajan said on the podcast: “It has since been revealed that Meghan Markle co-operated with him (Scobie) on the project. She’s apologised for misleading a court on this.”
It is understood the duchess did not personally complain to the BBC herself, but her team contacted the broadcaster on her behalf.