Meghan Markle Applies to Ban 'Vicious' Tabloid From Naming Friends

Meghan Markle has accused a "vicious" U.K. tabloid of "playing a media game with real lives," applying to ban the newspaper from naming five of her friends.

The Duchess of Sussex attacked the Mail on Sunday for indicating it intended to publish the names of members of her inner circle who spoke out to defend her.

She said the move was intended to "create a circus" for "no reason other than clickbait and commercial gain."

Meghan said: "Each of these women is a private citizen, 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."

The five friends gave anonymous interviews with People magazine in which they defended Meghan and criticized her father Thomas Markle, mentioning a letter she sent him in the aftermath of her wedding.

Meghan Markle Field of Remembrance
Meghan Markle attends the 91st Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey on November 7, 2019, in London, England. Max Mumby/Getty

He missed the fairytale ceremony, at Windsor Castle, on May 19, 2018, after the Mail on Sunday caught him staging paparazzi pictures for money and he then suffered a heart attack.

In the letter, Meghan expressed him emotional anguish after the dramatic episode played out in the media for an audience of millions.

However, when the friends mentioned its existence to People, Thomas Markle handed it to the Mail on Sunday—who published it.

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 behavior 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."