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Meghan Markle ‘horror’ at character analysis branded ‘pseudoscience’ in court

Meghan Markle: Royal expert gives court case update

The Duchess of Sussex is suing Associated Newspapers for breach of privacy and copyright and the latest hearing is taking place today and tomorrow. Meghan’s legal team are applying for a summary judgement which, if approved by Judge Warby, would end the case without going to trial. The case centres around five articles containing extracts from a letter she sent to her estranged father Thomas Markle, which were published in the Mail on Sunday and MailOnline.

One of these articles contained analysis about Meghan’s character from handwriting experts.

Justin Rushbrooke QC, who is representing the Duchess, argued that a person of “ordinary sensibility” would feel “horror” at their handwritten letter being used in such a way.

He added that the technique of handwriting analysis “may well be a pseudoscientific view of the writer’s character”, although he acknowledged that people have different views on this.

Mr Rushbrooke also argued that the analysis by one of the experts, Emma Bache, was “derogatory”.

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Ms Bache, who is described in the article as the UK’s leading handwriting expert, described Meghan’s handwriting as “highly stylised” and “slow”.

She claimed this indicated that the Duchess is “ultra cautious” but also that she was “a showman” and “a narcissist”.

Ms Bache even claimed Meghan suffered from anxiety, yet enjoyed holding the world’s attention.

The handwriting expert told the MailOnline: “Meghan shows a highly stylised and slow handwriting.

“She is ultra cautious, is well aware that the world has their eyes on her and that is just how she likes it.

“This is not a spontaneous or intellectually creative woman but a consummate performer and strategist.

“There is a strong right slant and her letters have often been retraced.

“There is enormous emotion as well as energy but she is both self-aware and self-orientated.

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“However, she suffers from anxiety and in this instance her usual regularity and over-control of pen strokes does show some wavering and a slight uneven baseline ‒ she is showing some wavering of self-control. But not much!”

She added that the strong pressure of the pen indicates that Meghan is physically, sensually and materially motivated.

What’s more, she claimed the visually dominating leftward upper zone flourish appeared to be tacked on, which “is the 21st Century female equivalent of the Dandy, the fop or indeed the showman ‒ and yes the narcissist”.

Mr Rushbrooke told the court that there was “no indication” as to whether Ms Bache was aware that Meghan was previously a professional calligrapher when she took on the task of analysing the handwriting.

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In 2004 and 2005 Meghan used her calligraphy skills to support herself while she was a jobbing actress in Los Angeles.

He argued that this would in itself explain why her writing was “highly stylised” and that the defendant was aware of Meghan’s calligraphy skills, as it had been written about previously.

A second handwriting expert’s comments were also featured in the MailOnline article.

Tracey Trussell, a consultant graphologist Handright, said that not being able to handle the original pages made it difficult to make an exact assessment of the handwriting pressure, a key indicator of the writer’s feelings.

That said, she agreed that the writing was “very stylised” and claimed this reveals that Meghan has a “perfectionist streak” with a desire to hold her feelings close to her chest.

She added: “The whole piece of writing has clockwork regularity, and the rhythm is stilted and contrived, which shows how much self-discipline Meghan exerts to keep her emotions and actions under control, so she doesn’t do or say anything wrong.”

During the hearing, Mr Rushbrooke described the handwritten letter as “a heartfelt plea from an anguished daughter to her father”.

He argued the contents and character of the letter were “intrinsically private, personal and sensitive in nature” and that Meghan therefore had a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Associated Newspapers’ legal team are due to present their defence tomorrow.

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