While it’s no secret life in the UK wasn’t always rainbows and butterflies for Meghan Markle, the latest court documents filed in her legal battle against The Mail on Sunday unveiled more information about the extreme pressure Meghan was under as a royal. According to the filing, Meghan Markle felt "unprotected" by the royal institution and unable to defend herself from the press while pregnant. Elite Daily reached out to Meghan’s team, Buckingham Palace, and the owner of The Mail on Sunday, Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL), for comment on the filing, but did not immediately hear back.
In an Oct. 1 statement on the official Sussex website, Prince Harry announced Meghan filed a legal complaint against The Mail on Sunday for what he called "false" and "deliberately derogative" coverage of her after the publication shared portions of a private letter Meghan wrote to her father, Thomas Markle. She’s now suing ANL for alleged breach of privacy, infringement of copyright, and breach of the Data Protection Act 2018. The court case is still ongoing, and the latest filing from Meghan’s legal team revealed some of the most eye-opening information yet.
The filing was in response to several questions from ANL, which claims it only published Meghan’s letter after five of her friends gave an interview to People magazine in which one of them mentioned the letter in a way that painted Markle felt villainized him. They claim Markle gave the letter to The Mail on Sunday to publish because he felt it painted a fairer picture of the interaction. But in the Duchess’ legal filings, lawyers claim she had nothing to do with the People story.
In the filing, Meghan’s lawyers claim she was "the subject of a large number of false and damaging articles by the UK tabloid media, specifically by the defendant … which caused tremendous emotional distress and damage to her mental health." The claim goes on to detail how the Palace’s "no comment" policy in response to negative press left Meghan feeling "unprotected," which greatly concerned her friends.
“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," one part of the documents read. "The stance of ‘no comment’ was taken by the KP Communications Team without any discussion with or approval by the Claimant, as is standard practice for Royal communications. Had the Claimant been asked or been given the opportunity to participate, she would have asked the KP Communications Team to say on the record that she had not been involved with the People magazine article, as she had not been.”
Meghan’s lawyers claim her friends felt compelled to speak out after repeatedly seeing tabloids disseminate false information about the Duchess with impunity, while she was obligated to stay silent. "[Meghan] believes that it is probably because of this reason, as well as concerns about the press intrusion by the UK tabloids, that a few friends chose to participate [in the People story,] and they did so anonymously," lawyers stated in the filing.
In the end, Meghan’s legal team asserts she did not know about the People interview, nor “that the contents of the Letter would or might be revealed or referred to by any media outlet or to any person for the purposes of publication in any medium,” and that she “would not have consented” had she known.
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