Meghan, Duchess Of Sussex was ‘unprotected by the institution’ against the British press during her pregnancy, new court papers allege.
The former actress, who is married to Prince Harry, is in the midst of legal proceedings with The Mail on Sunday, and new documents have revealed previously unknown details regarding her battle with the tabloids.
Meghan’s lawsuit against the publication, and publishers Associated Newspapers Limited, was first filed last October (2019), after the newspaper printed excerpts from correspondence between herself and her estranged father, Thomas Markle.
In the filing, obtained by Entertainment Tonight, the former Suits star opposed the Kensington Palace press team’s “no comment” directive regarding reports about her contentious relationship with her family.
The documents state that, amid her pregnancy, the Duchess, “had become the subject of a large number of false and damaging articles by the U.K. tabloid media, specifically by the Defendant (Associated Newspapers Limited), which caused tremendous emotional distress and damage to her mental health.”
It is further stated that several of Meghan’s friends “had never seen her in this state before” and that they “were rightly concerned for her welfare, specifically as she was pregnant, unprotected by the Institution, and prohibited from defending herself.”
Additionally, according to the filing, “it was mandated by the (Kensington Palace Communications Team) that all friends and family of (Meghan) should say ‘no comment’ when approached by any media outlet, despite misinformation being provided to U.K. tabloids about (her).”
“This shared frustration amongst (her) friends left everyone feeling silenced, as it appeared that other so-called sources were able to disseminate false statements,” the documents state. “While the people who knew her best were told that they needed to remain silent.”
The papers also refer to an article published by People including anonymous interviews with several of the Duchess’ friends, with Meghan claiming she was unaware that anyone close to her had spoken to the publication, and that she was informed about the article by Harry. She did not know which of her friends were involved until “a considerable time later.”
Insisting her pals’ forced silence was behind the anonymous comments, the papers explain: “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, and they did so anonymously.”
The trial between the Sussexes and Associated Newspapers Limited is expected to begin later this year.