Earlier this week,The Times published an article which claims that the Duchess of Sussex bullied her royal aides and made them cry. A spokesperson for Meghan and Prince Harry denied the allegation in a statement to ET, calling it a "calculated smear campaign based on misleading and harmful misinformation." Sources informed the publication that a bullying complaint was filed against Meghan by a royal staffer in 2018. The complaint allegedly claimed she "drove two personal assistants out of the household and was undermining the confidence of a third staff member."
Since then a number of Meghan's friends, co-stars and celebrity peers have spoken out in her defense.
Jessica Mulroney, Meghan's longtime friend and stylist, posted a photo of them having an intimate dinner and captioned the image with a sweet message. "I don’t know that anyone has ever had to deal with the pressure, the politics and the press like this woman," she wrote. "In the face of it all, I have never seen her waver from kindness, empathy and love."
Gabrielle Union was among the celebs to come to the duchess' defense. The actress retweeted a number of comments from people, including Roxane Gay.
"Those British papers really cannot tolerate that Prince Harry loves a black woman. He was right to leave. I don’t even think it was a hard decision. They will never ever stop trying to tear Meghan apart. It’s absolutely grotesque," Gay wrote, which Union reposted. "And for his family to question that decision, and do all these passive aggressive things to try and get ahead of the Oprah interview. To punish him for protecting his wife and babies. Smh. It’s a shame. I know they are fine but I feel for them nonetheless."
She later added, "You already know what time it is. I hope we all continue to rally around women who dare to stand up for themselves and others. We see you, we support you, we got your back. 🖤"
Jameela Jamil was another actress to speak out, tweeting, "IF THIS IS WHAT THE ROYAL FAMILY IS COMFORTABLE DOING TO A HEAVILY PREGNANT WOMAN PUBLICLY.... can we even IMAGINE what they put her through privately? They seem terrified. Her interview hasn’t even aired yet. What are they covering up? The stench of their desperation is rotten."
IF THIS IS WHAT THE ROYAL FAMILY IS COMFORTABLE DOING TO A HEAVILY PREGNANT WOMAN PUBLICLY.... can we even IMAGINE what they put her through privately? They seem terrified. Her interview hasn’t even aired yet. What are they covering up? The stench of their desperation is rotten.
Her friends also came to her defense. Janina Gavankar, Meghan's longtime pal, tweeted that the duchess is "kind, strong, open."
"Here’s what she’s not: 'a bully.' ANY of us who know her, feel the same thing from her broken silence: Relief," she noted. "The truth shall set you free."
I have known Meghan for 17 years. Here’s what she is: kind, strong, open. Here’s what she’s not: “a bully”. ANY of us who know her, feel the same thing from her broken silence: Relief. The truth shall set you free.
The duchess' director and writer pal, Silver Tree, also shared some intimate photos of their friendship, defending her on Twitter.
"This is Meg. A real person- not a cover story. She is one of my very nearest and dearest. Like all her friends I love her madly," she wrote. "She is the friend who insists on always hearing the details of your life, your day, your kids life, your kids day, before hers. Always before hers. The friend who stocks her house full of all your very favourite things when you visit and pretends she already had them-just because she wants the moment to be about you not her. It’s always that way with her friends- us before her. On her wedding day she checks in on me in the morning. It’s her day, the world is standing by, it’s a lot-but she wants the day to be special for me. 'You’ve come such a long way' she says 'Are you jet lagged?' she says 'I made you a playlist to listen to while you get ready.'"
Even Chance the Rapper shared his opinion on the matter.
Do y’all find yourselves getting mad as HELL every time they talk sideways about the Duchess Meghan?
As for Chrishell Stause, the Selling Sunset star expressed that she was shocked "that people hate her so much. I worry about people’s sanity who can attach so much hate to someone they don't know."
My timeline is very pro Meghan Markle which I love. But I just scrolled some of the comments on a news site’s post & it was almost shocking that people hate her so much. I worry about people’s sanity who can attach so much hate to someone they dont know. 🤯
"Having spent three years working with her in her pre-Duchess days, I saw a warm, kind, caring person. I know nothing of her current situation but she gets the benefit of the doubt in my book."
It’s also possible the Duchess of Sussex is a good person thrust into an unimaginable world. Having spent 3 years working with her in her pre-Duchess days, I saw a warm, kind, caring person. I know nothing of her current situation but she gets the benefit of the doubt in my book. https://t.co/7JD3ig6tws
Lindsay Roth, one of Meghan's college friends and producer, also praised her, writing in part, "Meg’s M.O. has always been kindness; goodwill runs in her bones. I know this to be true after 22 years of very close friendship. I have seen firsthand how she treats her friends and their families, and her colleagues."
Amid the controversy, people on social media have also been bringing up an interview with Diana where she's asked if she believes "the firm" was waging a campaign against her.
"Yes I do. Absolutely," she said at the time. "I was separated wife of the Prince of Wales and I was a problem. It never happened before, 'What do we do with her?'" She also expressed that "she won't go quietly…I'll fight till the end."
I remembered this interview like it was yesterday. It was heartbreaking to hear what Princess Diana went thru w/The Firm aka BRF. I have no doubt it will be even more heartbreaking to hear what Meghan Markle/Duchess of Sussex is going thru 25 yrs later. I love you Meghan & Harry. pic.twitter.com/3btP0AMLUG
Meghan expressed the same sentiments in the latest promo for her upcoming interview with Oprah Winfrey. In a clip of Sunday's Oprah with Meghan and Harry: A Primetime Special, Oprah asks the former actress how she feels about having the Palace hear her speak her and Prince Harry's truth.
"I don't know how they could expect that after all of this time we would still just be silent if there is an active role that the firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us," Meghan replies. "And if that comes with risk of losing things, I mean, there's a lot that's been lost already."
The couple is expected to share more details behind their royal exit and how they've handled the harassment they've endured during their tell-all interview with Oprah, airing on CBS on Sunday.
Meanwhile, a source told ET on Thursday that Meghan and Harry's relationship with Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip is strained.
"Things are tense," the source said. "And while Harry loves his grandmother and grandfather, the timing of the Oprah interview has complicated matters."