The Duchess of Sussex is seeking a court order to stop the publisher of the Mail on Sunday publicising the names of five friends who could be witnesses in an ongoing legal dispute, according to a court filing.
Meghan Markle is suing publisher Associated Newspapers over articles its Mail on Sunday newspaper printed in 2019, which included parts of a handwritten letter she had sent to her estranged father, Thomas Markle, in August 2018.
Mr Markle and his daughter have not spoken since he pulled out of appearing at her wedding to Prince Harry in May 2018 after having heart surgery and following news he had staged photos with a paparazzi photographer.
The Duchess of Sussex, now living in Los Angeles with husband Prince Harry and their young son Archie, claims publication of the letter breached her privacy, and that elements were manipulated to distort the truth.
The Mail justified the publication by saying five unnamed friends of Meghan had put her version of events in interviews with the US magazine People.
Her legal team say it was untrue she had authorised or arranged for her friends to tell People about the letter. On Thursday (British time), they said Associated Newspapers were threatening to publish their names.
“These five women are not on trial, and nor am I. The publisher of the Mail on Sunday is the one on trial,” Meghan said in a witness statement seen by Reuters.
“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.”