Meghan Markle has explained how badly her mental health suffered during her pregnancy

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Meghan Markle has faced a huge wave of online hate since joining the royal family.

From the moment the former Suits actress was rumoured to be dating Prince Harry, she was hounded by the press and public alike, with Harry forced to release an unprecedented statement asking for her privacy.

Since becoming a royal family member it only got worse. The run-up to the couple’s wedding was overshadowed by Thomas Markle drama and cruel reports of Meghan making Kate Middleton cry, pitting the royal sisters-in-law against each other.

It was the abuse surrounding her pregnancy however that was perhaps the most shocking, with even George Clooney stepping in to voice his shock at the unprovoked bullying of a woman carrying a baby.

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Meghan's pregnancy was consumed with online abuse in the form of body shaming and constant slander against her in the tabloids.

Eventually the Sussex couple were forced to step down from their royal family roles, become financially independent and relocate to Los Angeles for the sake of their mental health.

The  Sussex couple are in the midst of a lawsuit against Associated Newspapers Limited, taking action against the 'bullying' Meghan faced and the publication of her private letter to her father, with new court documents revealing just how badly her mental health was affected while pregnant.

'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,' Meghan Markle's legal team reportedly claim in documents released on June 30.

'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.'

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According to royal expert Omid Scobie, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle aim 'to provide evidence to disprove core claims made by Associated's case', with the newspaper reportedly arguing that their stories were not 'unlawful' and that the Duchess of Sussex's private life 'was of immense public interest'.

The case is ongoing.

Jenny Proudfoot
Features Editor

Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.