Meghan Markle has vehemently denied allegations that she bullied Kensington Palace aides during her time in the household. The accusations against the Duchess of Sussex come as she negotiates damages from her court win against the Mail on Sunday. On Good Morning Britain, ITV Royal Editor Chris Ship pointed out the irony of her and Prince Harry’s promise to donate any money won to an anti-bullying charity.
He told viewers: “The statement from the Sussexes said that Meghan was ‘saddened’ by, what they call, ‘the latest attack on her character’.
“There’s an interesting sort of circle here.
“I spent most of yesterday listening to that High Court case that Meghan had taken against the Mail on Sunday.
“It’s being wrapped up and they’re talking about the costs, and the £1.5 million legal fees that the Duchess of Sussex has racked up.”
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Mr Ship continued: “When they came to the issue of defamation, I was reminded that when they put out the statement way back in Africa in 2018 that any damages that they get from the Mail on Sunday are going to go to an anti-bullying charity.
“Given what they’ve now been accused of, that’s pretty serious.”
Meghan had launched a lawsuit against Associated Newspapers and the Mail on Sunday after they published extracts of a handwritten letter she had sent her father in 2018 without her permission.
After applying for a summary judgement, the royal won her case on the claims of privacy and copyright.
The statement put out in 2018 when the legal action was initially announced read: “The case is being privately funded by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Pending a Court ruling, proceeds from any damages will be donated to an anti-bullying charity.”
Now following the bullying accusation, a spokesperson for the Sussexes has said: “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.”
As a larger response, in a legal letter to The Times, their spokesperson said: “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.”
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Mr Ship offered more insight into the allegations.
He told GMB: “One other thing that I’ve learnt is that whilst this bullying claim was submitted by the then Chief Communications Officer, the Head of Comms at Kensington Palace, the staff involved didn’t know that it had been submitted.
“When they found out, they asked for it to be rescinded.
“So we’ve got quite a difficult story here about a bullying complaint.
“Yet the staff involved, it appears, didn’t even know it was being submitted.”