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On Tuesday, British newspaper The Sunday Times published two stories citing unnamed sources, alleging that the Duchess of Sussex bullied royal aides. The oulet reports that some staff members were humiliated or left in tears. Their anonymous sources claimed two assistants left their jobs as a result of Meghan’s alleged treatment.

The accusations have become public just a few days before her her television interview with Oprah Winfrey. They reveal she faced a bullying complaint made by one of her closest advisers during her time at Kensington Palace.

“The sources approached The Times because they felt that only a partial version had emerged of Meghan’s two years as a working member of the royal family and they wished to tell their side, concerned about how such matters are handled by the palace. The complaint claimed that she drove two personal assistants out of the household and was undermining the confidence of a third staff member.”

The Sunday Times

The bullying complaint was lodged against the princess by a senior member of Kensington Palace staff before she and Prince Harry.

The Times reported it was made in October 2018 by Jason Knauf, who worked as communications secretary to Harry and Meghan.  Mr Knauf said he acted to protect staff he claimed were coming under unbearable pressure from Meghan. It further claims Harry ‘pleaded’ with him not to pursue the allegations. 

Mr Knauf also made clear he was concerned nothing had been done, or would be done in future, to protect palace staff.  He is alleged to have said : ‘I am very concerned the duchess was able to bully two PAs out of the household in the past year. The treatment of X was totally unacceptable.’ 

He added: ‘The duchess seems intent on always having someone in her sights. She is bullying Y and seeking to undermine her confidence. We have had report after report from people who have witnessed unacceptable behaviour towards Y.’ 

After Harry was told about the complaint a source insists he had a meeting with Mr Knauf in which he begged him not to pursue it, The Times says. Lawyers for the duke and duchess deny that any meeting took place.

Meghan Markle in a sneak peek of her highly anticipated tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey. CBS released teaser in which Harry said, “I am just really relieved and happy to be sitting here, talking to you, with my wife by my side… Because, I can’t imagine what it must have been like for her going through this process by herself all those years ago, because it has been unbelievably tough for the two of us, but at least we have each other.” 

Meghan Markle has responded.

Her representatives have called the bullying accusations an “Attack on her Character”.

A statement from a spokesperson for The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, read, “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.”

The statement continued, “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.”

Meghan Markle claimed she is the victim of a ‘calculated smear campaign’ by the Royal Household after it was alleged she ‘drove out’ two PAs and eroded the confidence of a third aide.

The Duchess of Sussex claims The Times is being ‘used by Buckingham Palace to peddle a wholly false narrative based on misleading and harmful misinformation’ about her treatment of staff just days before her CBS interview with Oprah Winfrey is broadcast on Sunday.

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.’

A spokesman for the Sussexes

In other news

A PR expert has described the timing of the interview, with the Duke of Edinburgh currently unwell in hospital, as ‘horrendous’. Public relations and crisis consultant Mark Borkowski warned that Harry and Meghan are at risk of a ‘real reputational mess’ if they go ahead with the broadcast in the US on Sunday and said it should be postponed.

Harry’s grandfather Prince Philip, 99, spent nearly two weeks in the private King Edward VII’s Hospital before being transferred to St Bartholomew’s Hospital on Monday for tests on a pre-existing heart condition.

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