Meghan Markle allegedly felt "unprotected by the institution" when it came to defending herself in the British press. New court documents stemming from Markle's ongoing legal battle with The Mail on Sunday are revealing previously unknown details regarding Markle's battle with the tabloids.
Markle's lawsuit against the outlet -- and their publishers, Associated Newspapers Limited -- was first filed last October, and is a result of the publication printing excerpts from a correspondence between herself and her estranged father, Thomas Markle.
A source close to the Sussexes tells ET, "The case centers on a private and hand-written letter from a daughter to her father that was published by The Mail on Sunday. This gross violation of any person's right to privacy is obvious and unlawful.” The source further stated that "the Duchess’ rights were violated."
According to the latest court documents, obtained by ET, Markle opposed the Kensington Palace press team's "no comment" directive regarding the reports about Markle's contentious relationship with her family, and she wanted to speak out in her own defense.
The docs state that, amid her pregnancy, the Duchess "had become the subject of a large number of false and damaging articles by the UK tabloid media, specifically by the Defendant [Associated Newspapers Limited], which caused tremendous emotional distress and damage to her mental health."
It is further stated that several of Markle's friends "had never seen her in this state before" and that they "were rightly concerned for her welfare, specifically as she was pregnant, unprotected by the Institution, and prohibited from defending herself.”
Additionally, it is claimed in the documents that "it was mandated by the [Kensington Palace Communications Team] that all friends and family of [Markle] should say 'no comment' when approached by any media outlet, despite misinformation being provided to UK tabloids about [her]."
"This shared frustration amongst [her] friends left everyone feeling silenced, as it appeared that other so-called sources were able to disseminate false statements," the documents continue. "While the people who knew her best were told that they needed to remain silent."