Meghan Markle Feared Second Miscarriage Amid Intrusive Tabloid Demands

Meghan Markle says she feared having a miscarriage while pregnant with daughter Lilibet due to the emotional toll of her tabloid privacy lawsuit.

The Duchess of Sussex lost a pregnancy in July 2020 and revealed the tragedy came just days after a blow in the case she brought against The Mail on Sunday.

The newspaper had suggested five of her friends who gave anonymous interviews about her to People might be named publicly.

On July 9 that year, Meghan accused the "vicious" tabloid of "playing a media game with real lives."

The duchess did not say the newspaper caused the miscarriage but said it later caused her to fear losing her third pregnancy, with daughter Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, born in June.

Her witness statement read: "On October 20, 2020, my solicitors issued an application to adjourn the trial due to take place in January 2021.

"I was in the first trimester of my third pregnancy at the time (having suffered a miscarriage a few months prior) and was feeling very unwell.

"My doctor advised me to avoid stress, particularly given the recent miscarriage days after [The Mail on Sunday] threatened to break the confidentiality of the original 'sources' for the People magazine article, which resulted in my having to make an urgent application for an anonymity order.

"This was granted by Mr. Justice Warby, but I found the process extremely stressful, and it took its toll physically and emotionally.

"I have at all times wanted to protect the privacy of those friends, while [The Mail on Sunday] was, it seemed to me, doing everything it could to make this litigation as intrusive as possible."

As 2020 progressed, the newspaper's lawyers turned their attention to disclosure, the process through which they had the right to demand Meghan hand over private messages and documents relevant to the case.

The process works by the newspapers lawyers proposing a list of search terms that Meghan's team would then have to use to pull up messages and files.

However, it also stood to expose information related to her friends and, at one stage at least, potentially her mother Doria Ragland.

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry at Intrepid
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend Intrepid Museum's Salute To Freedom Gala on November 10, 2021, in New York City, on the eve of Veterans Day. The visit came hours after a witness statement revealing her fears of a second miscarriage. Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Intrepid Sea, Air, & Space Museum

Meghan said in her statement: "I knew that this would be a labor-intensive and invasive exercise, given the breadth of the search terms originally proposed by [The Mail on Sunday].

"I understood that the 177 search terms included 'I love you,' 'Harry,' 'sex scene,' 'Doria,' 'mother,' 'Kate,' 'William,' 'Suits,' 'baptism,' 'kiss,' 'childcare,' 'Archie,' and countless others (although these were later narrowed down).

"To undertake this process and cope with the accompanying stress, I wanted to wait until I was in better mental and physical health so as to not risk a second miscarriage."

Searches did not go ahead because Meghan secured a quick win without a trial in February.

However, the account underscores the high stakes currently at play in London's Court of Appeal where, if the newspaper wins, the disclosure process will resume.

Meghan wrote about her July 2020 miscarriage in a moving essay for The New York Times titled "The Losses We Share."

She wrote: "I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second.

"Hours later, I lay in a hospital bed, holding my husband's hand. I felt the clamminess of his palm and kissed his knuckles, wet from both our tears.

"Staring at the cold white walls, my eyes glazed over. I tried to imagine how we'd heal."

She added: "Sitting in a hospital bed, watching my husband's heart break as he tried to hold the shattered pieces of mine, I realized that the only way to begin to heal is to first ask, 'Are you OK?'"

Meghan applied for an order protecting the confidentiality of her friends around the time of the miscarriage in July 2020 and submitted a dramatic witness statement accusing the newspaper of threatening the "emotional and mental wellbeing" of the women.

The July 9 filing read: "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."

Meghan Markle, Harry Ahead of Veterans Day
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, seen at Intrepid Museum's Salute To Freedom Gala, in New York City, on November 10, 2021, the same day the duchess' witness statement was released by the Court of Appeal. Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Intrepid Sea, Air, & Space Museum

The case revolved around a letter Meghan sent her father begging him to stop talking to the media in August 2018.

Thomas Markle initially kept the handwritten note private but handed it to The Mail on Sunday in February 2019 after the five friends gave anonymous interviews to People.

They criticized him and mentioned the letter, misrepresenting its contents in the process, the Court of Appeal has heard.

Meghan won a resounding win in February but the newspaper appealed and it is through that challenge that the latest documents emerged.

The appeal hearing has its final day in London on Thursday before the judges will likely defer their decision on whether to order a overturn her victory and order a privacy and or copyright trial.