Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are set to "tell-all" in their March 7 interview with Oprah Winfrey, and the British press is working overtime to run preemptive damage control on behalf of the Royal Family. In the preview clip, Oprah asks Markle whether or not she thought the Royal Family would react to the interview. "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," Markle replied.
The latest rumor in The Times was that Markle bullied her aids in 2018, making one of them cry and driving "two personal assistants out of the household and was undermining the confidence of a third staff member." Buckingham Palace released a statement following the allegations claiming that they were "very concerned" and would be launching an investigation. "Accordingly our HR team will look into the circumstances outlined in the article," the statement read. "Members of staff involved at the time, including those who have left the Household, will be invited to participate to see if lessons can be learned."
A representative for the Sussexes released a statement in The Times denying the allegations completely. "Let's just call this what it is -- a calculated smear campaign based on misleading and harmful misinformation," the spokesperson said. "We are disappointed to see this defamatory portrayal of The Duchess of Sussex given credibility by a media outlet." They released a second response to Entertainment Tonight, claiming that it was "no coincidence" that the "distorted several-year-old" allegations were dug up by "the British media shortly before she and the duke are due to speak openly and honestly about their experience of recent years."
People have been coming to Markle's defense since this transparent attempt at deflection, including Jon Cowan, who was a writer on Markle's show, Suits. "It’s also possible the Duchess of Sussex is a good person thrust into an unimaginable world," he tweeted. "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."
Markle's longtime friend, The League actress Janina Gavankar, also shared her thoughts about the smear campaign on Twitter. "I have known Meghan for 17 years," she tweeted. "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."