Duchess Meghan has applied to the High Court to stop the Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday from naming her five friends who spoke anonymously to a US magazine to defend her from tabloid “bullying”.Meghan accused the newspapers of a “vicious” attempt to name her friends, saying it poses a threat to their mental health for “clickbait”.
Her friends spoke anonymously to People magazine in the US – something Meghan says she was not involved with.
In a witness statement submitted as part of the High Court application, Meghan said: “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 US media outlet more than a year ago, to defend me from the bullying behaviour of Britain’s tabloid media.
“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.
“Each of these women is a private citizen, a young mother, and each has a basic right to privacy. 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.
“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.”