After Meghan Markle was accused of bullying a few royal aides while living at Kensington Palace, she hit back with a statement of her own.
“Let’s just call this what it is — a calculated smear campaign based on misleading and harmful misinformation. We are disappointed to see this defamatory portrayal of The Duchess of Sussex given credibility by a media outlet. It’s no coincidence that distorted several-year-old accusations aimed at undermining The Duchess are being briefed to the British media shortly before she and The Duke are due to speak openly and honestly about their experience of recent years,” a spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said.
The statement continued: “The Duchess is saddened by this latest attack on her character, particularly as someone who has been the target of bullying herself and is deeply committed to supporting those who have experienced pain and trauma. She is determined to continue her work building compassion around the world and will keep striving to set an example for doing what is right and doing what is good.”
The Times reported on Tuesday, March 2, that a few former staff members wanted to tell their side of the story before her interview with Oprah Winfrey will air on Sunday, March 7.
“The complaint claimed that she drove two personal assistants out of the household and was undermining the confidence of a third staff member,” the outlet reported.
Two senior members of staff claimed they were bullied by the 39-year-old, while a former employee said they were “humiliated” by her.
Another aide claimed it felt “more like emotional cruelty and manipulation, which I guess could also be called bullying.”
The accusations were submitted in October 2018 by Jason Knauf, the couple’s communications secretary at the time.
“I am very concerned that the Duchess was able to bully two PAs out of the household in the past year. The treatment of X* was totally unacceptable,” Knauf supposedly wrote in an email.
He added: “The Duchess seems intent on always having someone in her sights. She is bullying Y and seeking to undermine her confidence. We have had report after report from people who have witnessed unacceptable behaviour towards Y.”
The complaint was then sent to the HR department, but a source said “not much happened with it.”
“Senior people in the household, Buckingham Palace and Clarence House, knew that they had a situation where members of staff, particularly young women, were being bullied to the point of tears,” another source claimed. “The institution just protected Meghan constantly. All the men in grey suits who she hates have a lot to answer for, because they did absolutely nothing to protect people.”