Meghan accuses palace of 'perpetuating falsehoods' in new Oprah clip
The Duchess of Sussex has said she cannot be expected to remain silent about her experiences of palace life if the royal family is “perpetuating falsehoods” about her and Prince Harry. Dismissing the consequences of speaking out, Meghan said a lot had “been lost already”. In a second trailer for the couple’s much anticipated interview, the US chatshow host Oprah Winfrey asks the duchess: “How do you feel about the palace hearing you speak your truth today?”
In the 30-second clip, released by CBS ahead of the interview, to be broadcast on Sunday, Meghan replies: “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.”
She adds: “And, if that comes with risk of losing things, I mean, I … there is a lot that has been lost already.”
In the clip, the duchess refers to “the firm”, which is shorthand for the institution of the royal family.
The interview was recorded before claims were published in the Times this week that the duchess had allegedly bullied former royal staff, leaving some of them in tears and driving two of them out of their palace roles.
The claims centred on an email which was sent by the couple’s former communications chief, Jason Knauf, in October 2018 – five months after the couple’s wedding – reportedly in an attempt to force Buckingham Palace to protect staff, the Times reported.
Buckingham Palace has ordered an unprecedented investigation into the claims, believed to be the first such inquiry into the alleged actions of a senior royal, and stressed it does not tolerate bullying.
Past and present employees will be invited to speak in confidence about their experiences of working for Meghan, after it was alleged she “humiliated” staff on several occasions, and “destroyed” one while another was left in tears.
Harry and Meghan will not be part of the process as they are not staff. The palace hopes to start the investigation as soon as possible, and will report any changes to procedures that might result at a later time.
The couple’s spokesperson has said that Meghan is “saddened by this latest attack on her character”, and as a target of bullying herself, was “deeply committed to those who have experienced pain and trauma”.
Sources close to the couple suggested that the emergence of the bullying allegations had been timed to undermine the couple’s interview with Winfrey.
Lawyers for the couple told the Times it was “being used by Buckingham Palace to peddle a wholly false narrative based on misleading and harmful misinformation”.
The newspaper had claimed several sources said Meghan had craved rejection, and that she wanted to be a victim, so her “unbearable experience” would convince Harry they had to leave the UK, which her lawyers have denied.
The Sussexes believed their staff were comfortable and happy, their lawyers said.
Sources are said to have approached the newspaper over concerns that the picture painted of Meghan in the Winfrey interview would not be a complete one.
Knauf sent the email to Simon Case, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s former private secretary, now the cabinet secretary, after conversations with Samantha Carruthers, the head of human resources, the paper claimed.
In it, Knauf reportedly wrote of his concerns Meghan was “able to bully two PAs out of the household”, that the treatment of one was “totally unacceptable” and that the duchess “seems intent on always having someone in her sights”.
The duchess is alleged to have said: “It’s not my job to coddle people” when her alleged treatment of staff was reportedly raised by a senior aide at a meeting said to have been attended by Harry. A source told the newspaper Harry begged his senior aide not to take the matter further, which was denied by the couple’s lawyer, who said he would not have interfered with staff matters.
There was also concern, the paper reported, that the complaint was not progressed: “The institution just protected Meghan constantly. All the men in grey suits who she hates have a lot to answer for because they did absolutely nothing to protect people”, one source was quoted saying.
Knauf left some months after making his allegations and is now a close aide to William, working as the chief executive of the Cambridges’ Royal Foundation.
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