Court documents from Meghan Markle’s legal action against Associated Newspapers details the emotional distress the Duchess felt about the press intrusion
Court documents from Meghan Markle’s legal action against the publisher of the Mail on Sunday and MailOnline claim she was left “unprotected by the Institution, and prohibited from defending herself.”
The papers were a response to a request by Associated Newspapers Limited, who is the defendant in the case. They detail the disintegration of the Duchess’s relationship with her father prior to her 2018 wedding and her conflicting views regarding the “no comment” approach of the palace press teams.
Mentions are also made about the now infamous Daily Mail article that leaked contents of a private letter from Meghan to her father Thomas Markle. Following the publication of the article, another piece was published by People, where five of Meghan’s close friends (who were not named in the article) were interviewed and subsequently defended the Duchess. They are referred to as A-E in the papers.
Rumours swirled that Meghan knew about the People story, but her lawyers state it was Harry who informed her of the news and that 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.”
The court papers read: “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…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 documents go into specific details of Meghan’s attempts to repair the relationship with her father prior to the wedding and describe how “Friend A witnessed the Claimant’s many calls to her father during the week of the wedding, from Nottingham Cottage, as well as from wedding rehearsals and pre-wedding events in Windsor and from Windsor Castle, all of which were ignored or declined.”
They also describe Meghan’s planning for his arrival in the UK and how she planned to shield him from the press saying she “took care to consider and to organise everything her father may need from all clothing items for each scheduled event, to accommodations, all transports, and a dedicated assistant on the ground to be with him during his time in the UK.”
The Duchess is suing Associated Newspapers over five articles which were published in February 2019. A judge struck out parts of her claim against the publisher at a preliminary hearing in May. These included allegations that the Defendant acted “dishonestly” by omitting certain passages of the letter and had an “agenda” of publishing offensive articles about her.
Associated Newspapers deny the allegations, with the trial expected to take place later this year.
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