THE Duchess of Sussex felt “unprotected” by the royal family from claims made in the UK tabloid press against her while she was pregnant, court documents have revealed.
Meghan’s assertions were made in the latest submissions in her legal action against the Mail on Sunday and Mail Online publisher, Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL), over the publication of extracts from a private handwritten letter she sent to her estranged father, Thomas Markle.
Lawyers for the Duchess claim the story breached her privacy.
In legal filings, her lawyers said the Duchess had “become the subject of a large number of false and damaging articles by the UK tabloid media, specifically by the defendant [ANL] which caused tremendous emotional distress and damage to her mental health.”
The disclosed document claims Meghan felt “prohibited” from defending herself against “falsehoods” about her published by the Mail on Sunday before she and Prince Harry decided to step down as senior royals and move to Los Angeles.
It reads: “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.”
The court case, in which the Mail on Sunday is accused of breaching the Duchess’s privacy, copyright and data protection, sees her deny that she authorised her friends to speak to People magazine or reveal the existence of the letter she wrote to Thomas Markle.
Associated Newspapers wholly denies the allegations, particularly a claim that the letter was edited in any way that changed its meaning.