Meghan Markle has claimed that she felt "unprotected" and suffered from "tremendous emotional distress and damage to her mental health", because the royal family was unable to protect her after she became "the subject of a large number of false and damaging articles", according to court documents in her case against The Mail on Sunday.
"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", the document suggests.
Meghan sued Associated Newspaper Limited (ANL), which owns The Mail on Sunday (as well as MailOnline and the Daily Mail), for releasing parts of a private letter she sent to her estranged father Thomas Markle back in 2018, saying the publication breached her privacy.
In response, Associated Newspapers said the note was only published after it had already been referenced by Meghan's friends in an interview with People magazine.
The Duchess of Sussex also identifies the five friends who gave the People interview, but refers to them only as friends A, B, C, D and E, while denying that she authorised them to do it.
On 8 January, Prince Harry and Meghan caused a stir by announcing that they wanted to quit their royal duties and spend more time in North America, while also becoming financially independent.