Meghan Markle slammed two British tabloids for its “vicious attempts” to create “click bait” involving her friends in ongoing legal battle.
According to a new legal statement obtained by Bazaar.com in a piece published Tuesday, the former Duchess of Sussex hit back at the Daily Mail on Sunday after its publishers “threatened” to reveal the names of five of her friends who came to her defense in an anonymous article last year with People magazine. (RELATED: Meghan Markle, Prince Harry Enjoying New Life: ‘A Weight Has Been Lifted,’ Friend Says)
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“These five women are not on trial, and nor am I,” the former “Suits” actress shared in the July 9 witness statement, according to the outlet. “The publisher of the Mail on Sunday is the one on trial. It is this publisher that acted unlawfully and is attempting to evade accountability; to create a circus and distract from the point of this case—that the Mail on Sunday unlawfully published my private letter.”(RELATED: Report: Meghan Markle And Prince Harry Plan To Have At Least One More Child)
“Each of these women is a private citizen, young mother, and each has a basic right to privacy,” she added. “Both the Mail on Sunday and the court system have their names on a confidential schedule, but for the Mail on Sunday to expose them in the public domain for no reason other than clickbait and commercial gain is vicious and poses a threat to their emotional and mental wellbeing.”
According to the report:
Meghan has repeatedly stated in legal responses to its publisher, Associated Newspapers, that she knew nothing of her five friends’ cooperation with People magazine until after the issue was published. On the grounds of copyright infringement and invasion of privacy, she is suing the Mail on Sunday for publishing a handwritten letter sent to her father, which was first made known in People by one of the friends.
In the document, the former duchess also accused the tabloids of “playing a media game with real lives,” per the outlet.
Markle’s five friends spoke to People in 2019, under the headline that read, “Meghan Markle’s Best Friends Break Their Silence: ‘We Want to Speak the Truth.'” In the piece, the friends are quoted as saying they broke their silence because they wanted to “stand up against the global bullying” of their friend.
In response, a spokesperson for the Mail on Sunday shared that, “To set the record straight, the Mail on Sunday had absolutely no intention of publishing the identities of the five friends this weekend.”
“But their evidence is at the heart of the case and we see no reason why their identities should be kept secret,” the spokesperson added. “That is why we told the Duchess’s lawyers last week that the question of their confidentiality should be properly considered by the Court.”