AT least three members of Meghan Markle’s staff were bullied, with two of them being forced out of her service, a close advisor has revealed.
Ahead of her controversial and lucrative television interview with Oprah Winfrey, the Duchess of Sussex has found herself yet again mired in scandal – this time by her former employees.
Royal aides have hit back at the unpopular former actress by alleging that a formal complaint against her was made back in 2018, according to The Times’ royal correspondent Valentine Low.
The anonymous sources went to the newspaper as “they felt that only a partial version had emerged of Meghan’s two years as a working member of the royal family”.
Both the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have given an interview to their friend, the US TV star Oprah Winfrey, which will air in what the CBS network calls a “primetime special” on Sunday, and will also be aired on ITV after the UK-based tv station paid millions for the broadcasting rights.
The complaint against Meghan – alleged in The Times – was made in October 2018 by the couple’s then communications chief, Jason Knauf who claimed that Meghan “drove two personal assistants out of the household and was undermining the confidence of a third staff member”.
At the time Mr Knauf was running the communications at Kensington Palace for both Prince William and Kate, and Prince Harry and Meghan.
He was also named in Meghan’s recent privacy case against the Mail on Sunday as the man appointed by the Palace to deal with the Duchess’ father Thomas Markle who had pulled out of the royal wedding in 2018.
According to The Times, Mr Knauf took the move to “protect staff who he claimed were coming under pressure” from Meghan.
The newspaper claims it has been told by a source that Prince Harry pleaded with his communications secretary not to send the complaint.
The Times’ royal correspondent writes that he was approached by sources who wanted to talk about the “turmoil” which existed between the time of Meghan’s arrival in 2017 and the couple’s decision to quit as working royals in 2020.
Lawyers for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex say that The Times is “being used by Buckingham Palace to peddle a wholly false narrative” before the Oprah interview.
And a spokesperson for Harry and Meghan responded to the story saying: “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.”