According to court documents obtained by the BBC in the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's lawsuit against the publisher of the Mail on Sunday and Mail Online, Meghan Markle felt "unprotected by the institution" of the British monarchy during "false" media reports published when she was pregnant.
Meghan and her husband, Prince Harry, are suing Associated Newspapers in regards to the publication of excerpts of a letter she sent to her father, Thomas Markle, in 2018. The publishers has denied the Duchess’ claims of copyright infringement and breach of privacy. The newly-obtained court documents by the BBC allege Meghan suffered "tremendous emotional distress" over the publication of her letter.
"The Claimant had become 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 documents state. In regards to interviews that five of her friends gave to a U.S. magazine in 2019, the documents add, "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."
Justice Mark Warby dismissed claims that Associated Newspapers deliberately "stirred up" issues between Meghan and her father, and that the publisher had an agenda against her at the preliminary hearing for her case held in May. He said at the time that these "irrelevant" claims did not pertain to her request for damages over alleged misuse of private information, copyright infringement, and breach of the Data Protection Act.
"Some are struck out on the further or alternative ground that they are inadequately detailed," Justice Warby said, adding that he had attempted to restrain the boundaries of the case to what is "reasonably necessary and proportionate for the purpose of doing justice between these parties."
"I do not consider that the allegations struck out on that basis go to the ‘heart’ of the case, which at its core concerns the publication of five articles disclosing the words of, and information drawn from, the letter written by the claimant to her father in August 2018," he continued. Associated Newspapers has denied all claims against it, including allegations that the letter was edited in a way that changed its meaning.