Meghan Markle's Lawyers Said the Royal Family Prevented Her From Defending Herself Against False Stories

In new court documents, Meghan's lawyers said she was "prohibited from defending herself" against "false and damaging articles by the UK tabloid media."

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(Image credit: Samir Hussein)

In new court documents concerning Meghan Markle's ongoing lawsuit against Associated Newspapers, who she's suing for breach of privacy and copyright infringement, the Duchess of Sussex's lawyers said the Royal Family "prohibited [her] from defending herself" against an onslaught of "false and damaging articles by the UK tabloid media." The incessant media bullying Meghan faced resulted in "tremendous emotional distress and damage to her mental health," her lawyers said.

According to the BBC, the court documents comprise responses from Meghan's legal team to questions from Associated Newspapers. Asked about interviews five of her friends gave to People last year, her lawyers responded, "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," they continued.

Speaking to, an unnamed source close to the Sussexes said that "the Mail’s defense largely hinges on the falsehood that The Duchess authorized or arranged for her friends to tell People magazine about her letter to her father. They argue that because she allowed her friends to discuss the letter, she gave up her privacy rights. In our response, we set out in absolute detail to prove how this is categorically untrue."

Associated Newspapers has denied Meghan's allegations and said it will defend itself against her lawsuit, while the Duchess has pledged to donate any damages she is awarded to anti-bullying charities.

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Emily Dixon
Morning Editor

Emily Dixon is a British journalist who’s contributed to CNN, Teen Vogue, Time, Glamour, The Guardian, Wonderland, The Big Roundtable, Bust, and more, on everything from mental health to fashion to political activism to feminist zine collectives. She’s also a committed Beyoncé, Kacey Musgraves, and Tracee Ellis Ross fan, an enthusiastic but terrible ballet dancer, and a proud Geordie lass.