Meghan Markle’s rep says bullying claims a ‘smear campaign’ by palace

'Let's just call this what it is — a calculated smear campaign based on misleading and harmful misinformation,' said the rep.

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Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, is pushing back against a report that she “bullied” her palace aides while in her role as a senior royal.

She and her husband, Prince Harry, are scheduled to sit down in a deeply personal interview with Oprah Winfrey in a CBS special this Sunday, March 7. In that interview, the Duke and Duchess are expected to respond to the bullying complaint reportedly filed against her by a staff member at Kensington Palace.

Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, is pushing back against a report that she bullied her palace aides while in her role as a senior royal. (Photo by Simon Dawson – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

London publication The Times ran a story yesterday revealing that an anonymous source said it was, in fact, a member of Markle’s communications staff that filed the complaint. The source also said the Duchess “drove two personal assistants out of the household and was undermining the confidence of a third staffer.”

However, a member of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s communications team said in a statement that the Times story was based on “misleading and harmful misinformation.”

Read More: Meghan Markle, Prince Harry discuss ‘shocking things’ in interview, Oprah says

“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,” the unnamed staffer said.

“It’s no coincidence,” the team member continued, “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.”

Read More: Gayle King raves about Oprah’s interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

Harper’s Bazaar is reporting that Markle and Prince Harry’s “lawyers also said The Times was being used ‘by Buckingham Palace to peddle a wholly false narrative’ before their interview with Oprah.”

“The Duchess is saddened by this latest attack on her character,” a spokesperson for the Sussexes’ said in a statement, “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,” the statement continued, “building compassion around the world and will keep striving to set an example for doing what is right and doing what is good.”

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