The Duchess of Sussex felt “unprotected by the Institution” of the monarchy and was “prohibited from defending herself” against media reports while pregnant, according to court documents.
The papers form part of Meghan’s legal action against the publisher of the Mail on Sunday and Mail Online, after articles reproduced extracts of a letter she sent to her father in 2018.
The duchess is suing for breach of privacy and copyright infringement.
The publisher denies her claims.
No trial date has yet been set but details are continuing to emerge from legal negotiations between the parties in the case..
The court documents, seen by the BBC, reveal answers to questions posed by Associated Newspapers about the duchess’s case.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are now based in California, having stepped back as senior royals at the end of March.
‘Wedding generated £1bn’
In reference to interviews five of her friends gave about Meghan to a US magazine in February last year the documents said: “The Claimant had become the subject of a large number of false and damaging articles by the UK tabloid media, specifically by the Defendant, which caused tremendous emotional distress and damage to her mental health.
“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.”
In the court papers, Meghan’s legal team also argued the security costs of her wedding to Prince Harry in May 2018 – which were paid for by the public purse – would have been far outweighed by the tourism revenue it generated which they put at more than £1bn.
The duchess is seeking damages, which she has said will be donated to an anti-bullying charity, from Associated Newspapers for alleged misuse of private information, copyright infringement and breach of the Data Protection Act.
Following a preliminary hearing in May, the judge struck out parts of Meghan’s claim against the publisher, including allegations that it acted “dishonestly” by leaving out certain passages of the letter from her father.
He also dismissed Meghan’s claims that the publisher deliberately “stirred up” issues between Meghan and her father, and that it had an “agenda” of publishing intrusive or offensive stories about her.
Associated Newspapers wholly denies the allegations and says it will hotly contest the case.