New court documents from Meghan Markle's ongoing lawsuit against the Mail on Sunday reveal the Duchess of Sussex felt "unprotected" by the Royal Family.
According to the documents obtained by E! News, Meghan's lawyers share that the Royal Family's penchant for common practices left Meghan and her friends "feeling silenced."
"[Meghan Markle] had become the subject of a large number of false and damaging articles by the U.K. tabloid media, specifically by the [Mail on Sunday], which caused tremendous emotional distress and damage to her mental health," the documents read. "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."
In addition, her lawyers state that it was Prince Harry who informed the Duchess of the People news article in which her friends defended her against the claims made by the Mail on Sunday in their now infamous article. Said article revealed the contents of a personal letter she had sent to her father Thomas Markle, describing the impact of his cooperating with the tabloids.
Meghan's lawyers reveal their belief that her friends, who remain anonymous, were driven to this action because Kensington Palace allegedly "mandated" that those close to the Duchess give "no comment" when approached by the press.
Regarding the rumors that she knew of the People story, her representatives assert, "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."
Meghan also maintains that she was "unaware" of her friends' actions and "not involved" in any way.
The Duchess and her legal team previously suffered a slight setback when Judge Warby ruled to strike out several claims in response to a pre-trial application from the defendant. Warby ruled that three elements of Markle's case were" irrelevant in law, or inadequately particularized, or that it would be disproportionate to litigate the issues raised," and thus struck them from the case. This also shifted the focus of the case back onto the private letter the Mail on Sunday published.
In a statement, The Mail on Sunday previously told E! News, "The Mail on Sunday stands by the story it published and will be defending this case vigorously. Specifically, we categorically deny that the Duchess' letter was edited in any way that changed its meaning."
According to Harry and Meghan's legal representatives, this legal case is being privately funded by the couple, and, pending a court ruling, proceeds from any damages will be donated to an anti-bullying charity.