Meghan Markle is facing a new complaint of bullying during her time at Kensington Palace. The allegations, made by anonymous palace aides, curiously arose just days before Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Markle and her husband, Prince Harry, is scheduled to air on CBS.
The Times newspaper claims the Duchess of Sussex allegedly drove two personal assistants out of the household and undermined the confidence of a third member of staff.
According to her spokesman, Markle is “saddened” by the report and labeled it the “latest attack on her character.”
"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,” a spokesperson for the Duchess said in a statement to royal reporter Omid Scobie.
"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."
Meghan and Harry also gave a statement to The Times, saying the allegations are "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."
The couple also pointed out the suspicious timing of the allegations. "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," their rep previously said in a statement.
Additionally, Kensington Palace issued an unusual statement about the incident:
"We are clearly very concerned about allegations in 'The Times' following claims made by former staff of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Accordingly our HR team will look into the circumstances outlined in the article. Members of staff involved at the time, including those who have left the Household, will be invited to participate to see if lessons can be learned.
The Royal Household has had a Dignity at Work police in place for a number of years and does not and will not tolerate bullying or harassment in the workplace."
In 2020, the couple announced the shocking news that they would step down from their roles as senior royals, citing British media intrusions into their personal lives and its racist attitudes toward Meghan, who is biracial.
On Thursday (Feb. 11), Meghan won a privacy claim against a British tabloid that printed a letter she wrote to her estranged father. She has also fought numerous battles against the British tabloids for invasion of privacy and printing racist stories about her.
Black Twitter has jumped to Markle’s defense, and fueled even more interest in the couple’s sit down with Oprah, scheduled to air Sunday night (March 7) at 8PM ET/PT on CBS News. See what folks are saying, below: