Shortly before Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan’s bombshell interview with Oprah earlier this year, the The Times of London (opens in new tab) reported that royal aides had filed a bullying complaint against Meghan Markle, and included a 2018 email from former Sussex communications director Jason Knauf. The claims launched a Buckingham Palace inquiry into the incident, but the Sussexes were quick to deny the allegations, with the couple’s lawyers calling it a “calculated smear campaign” engineered by Buckingham Palace which, they said, was “using” the paper to “peddle a wholly false narrative.” This fall, the bullying claim was reportedly rescinded, and the incident is mostly seen as just another cup of steaming hot tea pouring out of the royal family.
But in the first of a two-part documentary from the BBC that looks at the complicated relationships between Princes Harry and William and the media, Meghan’s lawyers are once again setting the record straight. The Princes and the Press, the second part of which airs November 29, has already caused a huge stir in the royal family—with reported threats that the Firm will boycott the BBC. The royal family even released a rare statement that casts doubt on the doc’s reporting, saying, “[T]oo often it is overblown and unfounded claims from unnamed sources that are presented as facts and it is disappointing when anyone, including the BBC, gives them credibility."
In the first-part of the film, Jenny Afia—Meghan’s lawyer who is representing the Duchess in a suit against The Times of London—appeared with Meghan’s permission to once again disavow the bullying claims. "This narrative that no one could work for the Duchess of Sussex, that she was too difficult or demanding a boss, and that everyone had to leave, is just not true," Afia said, as quoted by People. Afia will also appear in the second part of the film, and a trailer shows the lawyer talking about the claim that Markle is “guilty of bullying,” and saying that she is “absolutely not.”
Some things to keep in mind: It makes sense that this allegation is being brought back up for this particular documentary, which reportedly wants to look at how Prince William and Prince Harry especially have used their respective relationships with the press to further their “feud.” And let’s also remember that Markle has been treated horrifically by the press in the U.K. Plus, most importantly, this is so far hearsay, and aside from the email that Knauf sent alleging the complaints, there is no actual evidence that has been presented to show what actually happened.
Nevertheless, it’s probably safe to expect that the much-anticipated send part of The Princes and the Press, airing November 29, will cause even more of a stir than the first part.
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