Meghan Markle is said to be “saddened” by an explosive report in The Times of London, that she has seen an email sent by her former Kensington Palace communications secretary expressing concern about her “bullying” behavior.
The Times report, released just days before CBS airs an unrestricted interview with Markle and her husband, Prince Harry, also claimed that the Duchess of Sussex wore earrings given to her by the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin. Salman, weeks after the murder. by Jamal Khashoggi.
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Markle’s spokesperson told the newspaper that the report was a “smear campaign” and that the Duchess of Sussex was upset by the claims because she has been “the target of intimidation and is deeply committed to supporting those who have experienced pain and trauma”.
The Times obtained an email sent in October 2018 by Jason Knauf, a former communications executive for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who now works as executive director of the Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. He sent the message to Simon Case, then Prince William’s private secretary, and sent it to Samantha Carruthers, Prince Charles’ former chief of human resources.
According to the Times, which redacted the names of those involved, Knauf said in his email: “I am very concerned that the Duchess was able to intimidate two police assistants outside the home last year. X’s treatment was totally unacceptable. “
He added: “The Duchess seems determined to always have someone in her sights. She is bullying Y and seeking to undermine her trust. We have received report after report from people who have witnessed unacceptable behavior towards Y. “
In the email, Knauf is reported to have said that Carruthers “agreed with me on every point that the situation was very serious” and expressed concern that nothing would be done about it. “I asked if the home’s policy on bullying and harassment applies to principals,” he was reported to have written. The complaint did not advance, according to The Times, and Knauf resigned a month after it was sent.
Deadline has reached out to representatives for Markle for comment. A spokesperson for the Duchess of Sussex said: “Let’s call this what it is: a calculated smear campaign based on misleading and harmful misinformation. We are disappointed to see that this defamatory portrait of the Duchess of Sussex has been given credibility by one media outlet.
“It is no coincidence that the distorted allegations from several years ago aimed at undermining the Duchess are being reported to the British media shortly before she and the Duke speak openly and honestly about their experience of the last few years. In a detailed legal rebuttal letter to The Times, we have addressed these defamatory claims in their entirety, including the false allegations regarding the use of gifts loaned to The Duchess by The Crown.
“The Duchess is saddened by this latest attack on her character, particularly as someone who has been bullied 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 continue to strive to set an example of doing what is right and what is good. “
Aside from the intimidation allegations, the Times claimed that Markle wore earrings to a formal dinner in Fiji in 2018 that were a wedding gift from Mohammed bin Salman. At the time of dinner, it was reported that the jewels were loaned. A source told the Times that Markle asked her assistants to tell the media that they were loaned when they briefed reporters on her outfit for the state dinner. His lawyers denied that he had misled anyone about the origin of the earrings.
The report comes ahead of Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Markle and Prince Harry, in which they are prepared to talk about their bitter relationship with the British press. The interview special will air on CBS on Sunday night, while ITV is prepared to announce that it has secured the UK rights. Since the couple moved to California, they have signed lucrative deals with Netflix and Spotify.
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