Just a few days before Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's sit-down interview with Oprah Winfrey is set to air, Valentine Low of the Times is reporting that the Duchess of Sussex was accused of bullying by Palace staff, and that she wore earrings that were a wedding gift from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia.
Per the Times, "Two senior members of staff have claimed that they were bullied by the duchess," and a third told the publication that “it felt 'more like emotional cruelty and manipulation, which I guess could also be called bullying.'”
In a statement to Town & Country, a spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex responded to the allegations.
“The Duchess is saddened by this latest attack on her character, particularly as someone who has been the target of bullying herself 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 keep striving to set an example for doing what is right and doing what is good.”
It is also understood that when Meghan wore the earrings to a state dinner in Fiji, she was not aware of the news regarding Salman's alleged involvement in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The event took place several weeks after Khashoggi's death.
The earrings are not currently in Meghan's personal possession, and she does not have ownership of the jewelry.
The Sussexes issued a larger response to the story in the form of a legal letter to the Times, and lawyers for the couple reportedly accused the publication of “being used by Buckingham Palace to peddle a wholly false narrative.”
“Let’s just call this what it is — a calculated smear campaign based on misleading and harmful misinformation. We are disappointed to see this defamatory portrayal of The Duchess of Sussex given credibility by a media outlet. It’s no coincidence that distorted several-year-old accusations aimed at undermining The Duchess are being briefed to the British media shortly before she and The Duke are due to speak openly and honestly about their experience of recent years,” reads a statement from a spokesman for the Sussexes, per the Times.
Buckingham Palace reportedly declined to comment for the story. Read it in full here.
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