Things are getting ugly between Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, and The Firm—AKA the institution of the British Royal Family.
On Wednesday (March 3), The Times in the U.K. published a report alleging complaints of bullying had been made against Meghan to the Palace's human resources department back in 2018. The complaint alleged Meghan's behavior behind the scenes at Kensington Palace resulted in two personal assistants leaving the household, as well as "undermining the confidence" of a third staff member at the palace.
Many people questioned the timing of this report, which was aided by palace insiders, as Harry and Meghan are set to publicly speak about their decision to leave The Firm in an interview with Oprah Winfrey on Sunday (March 7). Following the release of The TImes' report, CBS shared a new trailer for the "no holds barred" sit down that shows Oprah asking Meghan how the Palace will feel "hearing you speak your truth today?"
Meghan says she doesn'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...and if that comes with risk of losing things, I mean I — there's a lot that's been lost already."
Buckingham Palace responded to the accusations made in The Times by revealing it will be launching an investigation into the allegations against Meghan. "We are clearly very concerned about allegations in The Times following claims made by former staff of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex," the palace said in a statement. "Accordingly, our HR team will look into the circumstances outlined in the article. 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."
Harry and Meghan have denied 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," the couple said in a statement.
A lawyer for the Sussexes took things a step further when responding to a request for comment in The Times' story. The spokesperson told the outlet that they were being "used by Buckingham Palace to peddle a wholly false narrative” before the Oprah interview. In the days leading up to the report's publication, multiple outlets published stories with quotes from palace sources claiming Prince William, Kate Middleton and other members of the Royal Family were angry about the upcoming tell-all.
“Let’s just call this what it is: a calculated smear campaign based on misleading and harmful misinformation," the spokesperson continued. "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," their response to The Times concluded.
Oprah with Meghan and Harryairs Sunday at 8 p.m. on CBS.