Meghan Markle’s decision to ‘ditch’ Jessica Mulroney has increased speculation today that the Canadian stylist could turn on the
Ms Mulroney has been named by the Daily Telegraph in the UK and the E entertainment website in the US as one of the Duchess of Sussex’s five friends who briefed People for an article which included information about a letter to her father after the
Jessica has never commented on whether she was one of the magazine’s sources – but if the claims are true, she and four of Meghan’s closest friends face the prospect of being hauled to the High Court in London to testify on oath that the Duchess didn’t ask them to do it.
But last month Meghan ‘ditched’ Jessica, who she met while filming Suits in Toronto, after black Canadian blogger Sasha Exeter said Mulroney used her ‘wealth and privilege’ to silence her and then name-dropped her friendship with mixed race Meghan as evidence that she wasn’t racist.
Today a source close to Ms Mulroney told The Sun’s Dan Wootton that ‘Meghan has forsaken her most loyal friend just to look woke’, adding: ‘She’s completely distraught and devastated because Meghan has done nothing to stand up for her publicly. Jessica is terrified she will never work again.’
The rift has put huge strain on their friendship at a time when Meghan’s legal battle with the Mail on Sunday over privacy edges towards the so-called trial of the century expected to take place in London next year where the Duchess of Sussex and her father would be expected to give evidence against each other.
Media lawyer Mark Stephens, a partner at London firm Howard Kennedy, told MailOnline that if Jessica Mulroney is one of the group of friends who spoke to People magazine, Ms Markle and her legal team will be worried that she may refuse to give evidence or damage their case because they have now fallen out.
The Duchess of Sussex’s friendship with stylist Jessica Mulroney (pictured together in 2016) appears to be under intolerable strain after a race row and could have an impact on Meghan’s High Court legal battle involving her estranged father Thomas
Canadian logger Sasha Exeter said Mulroney threatened to ruin her career and then dropped in Meghan’s name as proof she wasn’t racist. Jessica has long been linked the the group of Meghan’s friends who briefed People about a letter sent to Thomas Markle – but has never confirmed it. The friends will give evidence in the High Court case due next year
He said: ‘If Ms Mulroney is one of Meghan’s five friends then she will be a critical key witness in the case being advanced to trial. She will have to testify that even though the letter sent to Thomas Markle contained highly personal information she took it upon herself to brief People Magazine without Meghan knowing anything about it. All five will have to confirm that in court – and without it Meghan’s case is holed below the waterline’.
The five friends had decided to ‘help’ by giving interviews anonymously to People magazine, which has 35million readers worldwide. Meghan insists she knew nothing about it
Mulroney fears she may never work again after a spat with black blogger Sasha Exeter meant she lost her broadcasting jobs with Canadian broadcaster CTV and Good Morning America.
The 40-year-old’s agents are in talks with Hollywood executives about reviving her career, but fear the Duchess of Sussex’s absence may be the nail in the coffin.
Their relationship appears to have cooled after Jessica became embroiled in a row with social-media influencer Sasha Exeter, who called for high-profile people to be more vocal in support of Black Lives Matter movement, which Jessica took to be a personal attack.
Ugly messages were sent behind the scenes, with Jessica reportedly threatening to harm Sasha’s career. When Sasha accused Jessica of trying to silence her, as a black woman, Jessica name-dropped her friendship with mixed race Meghan as evidence that she wasn’t racist.
Jessica apologised, but lost lucrative TV jobs hosting a Canadian reality show and as a correspondent on Good Morning America.
Meghan’s publicists then briefed reporters that the Duchess was ‘mortified’ by her best friend’s behaviour and that she ‘could no longer be associated with her’.
Another friend told the New York Post their relationship was already on the way out, even before that row, because Meghan felt that Jessica was ‘making a career out of the friendship’.
‘The white privilege row has really given Meghan the excuse she was waiting for to cut Jess off for good,’ they said. ‘I don’t know what the tipping point was, but Jess has been on the outs for some time.
‘Their friendship is definitely not what it was. And really, how can you have such a close friendship when one person is basically making a career out of the friendship?’
Jessica Mulroney is said to be ‘distraught and devastated’ at having been ‘ditched’ by close friend Meghan Markle following a racism controversy. The pair are pictured in 2016
Prince Harry (right) and Meghan Markle (2nd right), are pictured with left to right Jessica Mulroney, Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland and Markus Anderson in 2017 – when Meghan and Jessica were best friends
Meghan’s court case against The Mail on Sunday revolves, in part, around five of her friends who spoke about the Duchess to America’s People magazine.
In the article, one of the friends mentioned a letter she sent to her father, Thomas, which is at the centre of the privacy claim.
The pair were once incredibly close, having met in Toronto when Meghan was filming the legal TV drama Suits, which made her name.
Media lawyer Mark Stephens, a partner at Howard Kennedy, told MailOnline that Meghan’s case will be sunk without all her five friends backing up her story
Jessica’s twin sons Brian and John, now nine, were pageboys at Meghan’s wedding to Prince Harry in May 2018, with her daughter Ivy a flower girl.
Jessica helped Meghan choose her wedding dress and was reportedly made a godmother to 14-month-old Archie, although she could not attend last year’s christening at Windsor Castle.
In turn, Meghan is Ivy’s godmother. But last month, Meghan failed to get in touch on Ivy’s seventh birthday, despite normally marking such celebrations with multiple presents.
Mulroney has reportedly hired lawyers, image experts and crisis PR teams to help put the backlash from her recent row behind her and stage a comeback a source told US Weekly.
‘She’s been talking to lawyers, image experts and crisis PR teams. She has been having a lot of them over to her house to brainstorm and find a way to put this behind her.’
One idea could have been to have a show of support from Meghan – such as a girl’s shopping trip, but Mulroney is slowly coming to realize that no such support will be forthcoming.
‘It’s a brutal blow after a ten-year friendship. Jessica has been there for Meghan through thick and thin,’ a source told The Sun.
‘She is losing so much work from brands who loved her connection to Meghan in the past but now feels she has become toxic,’ they said.
The damaged friendship raised the stakes in the extraordinary High Court case dubbed ‘Markle vs Markle’, in which Meghan’s 75-year-old estranged father Thomas Markle is prepared to give evidence against his daughter.
Meghan is suing the Mail on Sunday for publishing extracts from a handwritten note she sent to Mr Markle in August 2018, three months after he was unable to walk her down the aisle following a heart attack.
The former Suits actress, 38, claims the letter she sent him was private. But the newspaper says Mr Markle only revealed it to correct the false impression that her friends had given about the letter when they gave their interviews to People magazine.
In a document filed at the High Court last week Meghan insisted her friends had only spoken to People magazine because they were worried about her.
She claimed she had been the subject of numerous ‘damaging’ and ‘distressing’ articles written about her, but that Kensington Palace had ‘mandated’ she could not say anything except ‘no comment’.
Her legal document stated: ‘As her friends had never seen her in this state before, they were rightly concerned for her welfare, specifically as she was pregnant, unprotected by the Institution, and prohibited from defending herself.’
At the time – before they quit as frontline royals in January this year – Meghan and Harry had a hand-picked 15-strong team at Kensington Palace.
The five friends had decided to ‘help’ by giving interviews anonymously to People magazine, which has 35million readers worldwide.
This comes after Jessica Mulroney dragged Meghan Markle into an online racism row with social-media influencer Sasha Exeter, putting strain on their once incredibly close friendship
In its bombshell February 2018 interview, the five, who were described by the magazine as ‘a special sisterhood’, lavished praise on Meghan.
One of them – identified by Meghan as ‘Friend A’ – told the world about the letter she had posted to her father in October 2018.
Meghan named her five friends to the High Court in a confidential schedule which was kept secret. In a public document she named them as Friends A to E.
She identified Friend A as the one who had told People that the letter had said: ‘Dad, I’m so heartbroken. I love you. I have one father. Please stop victimising me through the media so we can repair our relationship.’
Meghan claimed this was an ‘unfortunately inaccurate’ portrayal of her letter, stressing numerous times that she had known nothing of her closest friends’ decision to go public.
Her five friends now face the prospect of being hauled to the High Court to testify on oath if this is true.
But the Duchess claimed she had no idea five of her closest friends were giving an interview about her to People.
She disclosed a list of those she had discussed the ‘private’ letter with in the papers lodged with the High Court – two of her friends, Prince Harry, her mother Doria Ragland, the press team at Kensington Palace (KP), and her solicitor.
Her lawyers told the High Court she had told ‘some of her friends’ about the fact she had sent a letter, adding that she had also ‘discussed the contents of the letter with her husband, her mother, Friends A and C, the KP Communications Team and her solicitor’.
Meghan insisted more than a dozen times in last week’s legal document that she had no prior knowledge of her friends’ interview with People.
She added that she was so uninvolved in ‘the process of the People article’ that she only found out about it on the day it was published.