Meghan Markle Bullying Claims Were Reportedly "Rescinded" by Palace Staffers

The new epilogue of Finding Freedom adds a piece to the puzzle.

cardiff, wales january 18 meghan markle chats with people inside the drawing room during a visit to cardiff castle on january 18, 2018 in cardiff, wales photo by ben birchall wpa pool getty images
(Image credit: WPA Pool)

Claims that Meghan Markle had "bullied" palace staff before stepping down from her royal duties have once again been thrown into question, courtesy of unauthorized Sussex biography Finding Freedom's new epilogue.

In March 2021, The Times published allegations that Markle had "bullied" several staff members, including an email written by former Sussex communications secretary Jason Knauf in 2018.

The email—as republished by E!—read, "The treatment of [name redacted] was totally unacceptable. The duchess seems intent on always having someone in her sights. She is bullying [name redacted] and seeking to undermine her confidence. We have had report after report from people who have witnessed unacceptable behaviour towards [name redacted]." The Times also claimed that "Prince Harry pleaded with Knauf not to pursue it."

However, the new chapter written by royal experts Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand—seen by Entertainment Tonight—reveals information that has potential to turn the whole story on its head. It reads, "sources confirmed that upon discovery of Jason [Knauf]'s email, two of the individuals mentioned in the email asked for any allegations made to HR about their experiences with Meghan to be rescinded." Scobie and Durand claim that Prince Harry didn't speak to Knauf about the accusations, either.

After the Times story was published, Buckingham Palace announced that it would be investigating the bullying claims. "The Royal Household has had a Dignity at Work policy in place for a number of years and does not and will not tolerate bullying or harassment in the workplace," the Palace's statement read.

The Sussexes had previously branded the accusations "a calculated smear campaign based on misleading and harmful misinformation" and a "defamatory portrayal of The Duchess of Sussex."

In Finding Freedom (via Entertainment Tonight), Markle's friend Janina Gavankar was reported as having stated, "I have known Meghan for 17 years, and I have seen the way she regards people around her and the people she works with, and I can say she is not a bully."

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of British Vogue, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and SELF. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.