Meghan Markle's 'Anguish' Over Publication of Private Letter Revealed in British Court Papers

The Duchess of Sussex is suing the publisher of the Mail on Sunday for printing a private letter to her father

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex
Photo: Samir Hussein/WireImage

Meghan Markle’s case against the British tabloids just moved into a higher gear.

Legal documents filed at the High Court in London on Monday — and reported Friday by the U.K.’s Press Association — show that Meghanis suing the publisher of the Mail on Sunday for printing a “private and confidential” letter to her father, Thomas Markle, 75, at a “time of great personal anguish and distress.”

In court papers seen by the Press Association news agency, Meghan’s attorneys add that the letter detailed “her intimate thoughts and feelings about her father’s health and her relationship with him at that time.”

The royal mom’s legal case centers around a private letter she sent to her father in August 2018. Sections of this correspondence were later published by the Mail on Sunday and MailOnline in February 2019.

Harry, Meghan
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. TOBY MELVILLE/POOL/AFP via Getty

The duchess is seeking damages from the Mail on Sunday’s publisher, Associated Newspapers Ltd., for “alleged misuse of private information, copyright infringement, and breach of the Data Protection Act.”

Associated Newspapers denies Meghan’s claims and intends to fight the case in the High Court, London.

The Schillings law firm also claims that the Mail on Sunday deliberately chose to “omit or suppress” important sections of the correspondence in an effort to hide the true meaning of Meghan’s words, reports the Press Association.

It adds that the newspaper also didn’t warn Meghan that the letter was going to be published — something that’s standard within news publishing.

“The letter was obviously private correspondence written by the claimant to her father,” states the Schillings submission, according to the Press Association.

It adds that Meghan “intended the detailed contents of the letter to be private, and certainly did not expect them to be published to the world at large by a national newspaper, and without any warning.”

In a preview clip of the upcoming ITV documentary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey —featuring behind-the-scenes glimpse of the royal couple’s recent tour of southern Africa — the duchess, 37, speaks openly about the pain of being a new mom in the public eye.

<a href="" data-inlink="true">Prince Harry</a>, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex
Meghan Markle. Dominic Lipinski/PA Images

“Any woman, especially when they’re pregnant, you’re really vulnerable, and so that was made really challenging,” she tells ITV news anchor Tom Bradby about the negative tabloid attention she received during her pregnancy and first months with son Archie, born May 6.

“Then when you have a newborn, you know. And especially as a woman, it’s a lot,” she adds. “So, you add this on top of just trying to be a new mom or trying to be a newlywed. It’s um . . . yeah. I guess, also thank you for asking, because not many people have asked if I’m okay, but it’s a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes.”

Bradby asked if it “would be fair” to say that she’s “not really okay, as in it’s really been a struggle?” to which Meghan responds, “yes.”

The documentary will air in the U.S. on ABC Wednesday, Oct. 23. at 10 p.m. ET.

<a href="" data-inlink="true">Prince Harry</a>, Duke of Sussex; Meghan, Duchess of Sussex
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Samir Hussein/WireImage

Shortly after the announcement that Meghan was taking legal action against Associated Newspapers, her husband Prince Harry also released an unprecedented statement.

“Unfortunately, my wife has become one of the latest victims of a British tabloid press that wages campaigns against individuals with no thought to the consequences – a ruthless campaign that has escalated over the past year, throughout her pregnancy and while raising our newborn son,” Harry said, before adding that he and Meghan have “continued to put on a brave face – as so many of you can relate to – I cannot begin to describe how painful it has been.”

Harry is himself suing News UK (owner of The Sun newspaper) and MGN (former owner of The Mirror) over alleged illegal interception of voicemail messages.

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