Meghan Markle Fights To Keep Friends From Being Named In Lawsuit
By Peyton Blakemore
July 9, 2020
Meghan Markle is fighting back!
In an effort stop what she says is an attempt by a British newspaper to publicly name five of her friends who spoke to People last year about the “global bullying” they said she was a victim of, the Duchess wrote a strongly-worded witness statement to the High Court in London as part of her on-going lawsuit against the British outlet.
“Associated Newspapers, the owner of The Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday, is threatening to publish the names of five women—five private citizens—who made a choice on their own to speak anonymously with a U.S. media outlet more than a year ago, to defend me from the bullying behavior of Britain’s tabloid media,” Meghan's statement reads. “These five women are not on trial, and nor am I. 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.
As royal fans know, Meghan is currently suing The Daily Mail and its publisher Associated Newspapers for publishing stories that included what she describes as a “private and confidential” letter she sent to her father, Thomas Markle, in August 2018.
“Each of these women is a private citizen, young mother, and each has a basic right to privacy," the Duchess continued in her letter on Thursday (July 9). "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."
She added, “The Mail on Sunday is playing a media game with real lives. I respectfully ask the court to treat this legal matter with the sensitivity it deserves, and to prevent the publisher of the Mail on Sunday from breaking precedent and abusing the legal process by identifying these anonymous individuals - a privilege that these newspapers in fact rely upon to protect their own unnamed sources."
The British tabloid responded to Meghan's letter, saying they had “absolutely no intention” of publishing the identities of her friends, but they wanted their identities “properly considered by the court.”
“Their evidence is at the heart of the case and we see no reason why their identities should be kept secret. That is why we told the Duchess’s lawyers last week that the question of their confidentiality should be properly considered by the Court,” the statement concluded.
Photo: Getty Images