There was more. “The Bench will be published on 8 June and is said to be inspired by the bond between her husband Prince Harry and their son Archie. ‘The Bench started as a poem I wrote for my husband on Father's Day, the month after Archie was born,’ the duchess said in a statement. ‘That poem became this story’”. Enter Mail Online.
“Was Meghan Markle inspired by a British children's author with The Bench? Royal watchers accuse Duchess of ripping off Corrinne Averiss' story about a father and son's bond - but author insists she sees ‘no similarities’” screamed the headline, the supporting article having done a thorough trawl of hostile Twitter comments.
The problem for Mail Online is that none of those screaming “rip-off” had read a word of the Duchess’ book (and neither had former Screws and Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan, who used the book news as his latest excuse to keep blubbering about losing his access to Haz and Megs). Ms Averiss said it wasn’t a rip-off, and that was that.
Well, maybe not all of that: what Mail Online had not told its readers, although its management would most likely have known, is that they had to bust the proverbial gut getting their knocking copy out there before the bad legal news arrived. Yes, the Duchess just won another court case against the inmates of the Northcliffe House bunker.
Back to the BBC: “The Duchess of Sussex has won the remainder of her copyright claim against the Mail on Sunday over the publication of a letter to her estranged father. Meghan won most of her claim for misuse of private information and copyright infringement in February. But the newspaper had suggested she may not have been the sole copyright owner”. A different kind of bench - the High Court kind - had spoken.
Why this conclusion? “The duchess won her case after her former communications secretary denied co-writing the letter”. Do go on. “The High Court heard that [Jason] Knauf has ‘emphatically’ denied co-writing the letter to Thomas Markle. Through his lawyers, he said ‘it was the duchess's letter alone’ … The court also heard that lawyers representing ‘the Keeper of the Privy Purse, acting on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen’ told Meghan's solicitors they ‘did not consider the Crown to be the copyright owner’”.
Which is probably why Mail Online moved so quickly to sow the seeds of doubt in as many readers’ minds as possible, and why the appalling Piers Morgan snivelled even more loudly than usual about Megs’ new writing venture. We’ll get the usual whinnying from Mail contributors about “they’re totally separate entities”, but hardly anyone believes that nowadays. You sue one Mail outlet, they all come after you.
Only this time, they smeared someone prepared to not only stand up to them, but take them to the cleaners for good measure. You lost, Mail people. Get over it.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at