Americans 'Insulted' and 'Shocked' by Meghan Markle Treatment—Stella Parton

Americans are "insulted" and "shocked" by the media's "ongoing trashing" of Meghan Markle, Dolly Parton's younger sister, Stella Parton, has told Newsweek.

Parton, a musician like her older sister, made headlines following Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee with a series of tweets defending Meghan and Prince Harry's move out of what she considers to be the "toxic waste heap" of the royal environment.

On July 9, Parton doubled down on her earlier sentiments, responding on Twitter to an article published about the comments, saying:

"Yes, I said it and I think more people should speak out when they see phony people in high places thinking their snooty behavior is ok."

Stella Parton and Meghan Markle
Dolly Parton's sister, Stella Parton (L), told Newsweek that the "negativity" faced by Meghan Markle (R) "is only a deflection from a number of other scandals going on by the Royals!" Dave J Hogan/Getty Images/Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

On her recent social media post, which received over 4,000 likes, and her continued defense of Meghan, Parton told Newsweek: "as you can see, many others agree with my feelings and thoughts."

"The constant barrage of negativity lobbed at [Meghan Markle] is only a deflection from a number of other scandals going on by the royals!" she said. "Americans read the news and most of us follow the royals and always have. Many of us are very insulted and shocked by this ongoing trashing of this young, innocent, wife and mother."

Parton's reference to royal scandals comes as Prince Andrew made a failed attempt at a return to public life last month during the annual Garter Day ceremonies.

Despite sources close to the prince revealing that he would be taking part in the day's proceedings, at the last minute it was decided that he would only partake in the private aspects of the ceremony with Buckingham Palace stating that it was a "family decision."

Prince Andrew Attends Prince Philip Memorial Service
Prince Andrew retired from public life over his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein and a lawsuit lodged against him by Virginia Giuffre. Photographed March 29, 2022. Richard Pohle/WPA Pool/Getty Images

Andrew stepped down from his public duties and had his royal patronages and honorary armed forces positions removed over his friendship with notorious pedophile Jeffrey Epstein and the sexual abuse lawsuit filed against him by Epstein victim, Virginia Giuffre.

Andrew settled the lawsuit in 2022 for a figure estimated to have been in excess of $10 million, though has maintained his denial of the claims made against him.

Ghislaine Maxwell, a figure central to the lawsuit and Giuffre's association with the prince and Epstein was sentenced to 20 years in prison for her involvement in trafficking young girls on June 28.

"The British Press, as well as the royals, need to clean up their own behavior instead of pointing fingers at Meghan," Parton told Newsweek, going on to draw a comparison between the treatment of the young duchess and Harry's late mother, Princess Diana.

"How dare they, yet, they are attempting to turn Meghan into a sacrificial lamb to deflect just as they [did] to Diana," she said. "You would have thought the paparazzi/ media would have learned something after her death but instead they continue to behave like ravening wolves, while the royals/The Firm stand by and seem to enjoy it. What does that say about them?"

Meghan has been vocal about the negative media attention she has experienced since marrying Prince Harry in 2018 and the effect that not feeling protected by the royal household had on her mental health in the build-up to the couple's making the decision to step down as full-time working members of the royal family in 2020.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Oprah Interview
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have both spoken out about Meghan's treatment at the hands of British tabloids including in an interview with Oprah Winfrey. March 2021 Harpo Productions

Speaking to Oprah Winfrey in her landmark 2021 interview, Meghan said:

"Once we were married and everything started to really worsen that I came to understand that not only was I not being protected, but they were willing to lie to protect other members of the family but they weren't willing to tell the truth to protect me and my husband."

Harry has also openly discussed how the media's scrutiny of Meghan affected him, telling Winfrey in the docuseries The Me You Can't See that he felt history repeating itself as the situation mirrored that which he'd experienced with his mother.

"History was repeating itself," he said. "My mother was chased to her death while she was in a relationship with someone that wasn't white and now look what's happened. You want to talk about history repeating itself? They're not going to stop until [Meghan] dies."

Both Harry and Meghan have become advocates for mental health and since moving to the U.S. have begun to work on projects which tackle the stigma around mental health as well as negativity in the media.

Later this year, Meghan's first solo podcast titled Archetypes is due for release through the Sussexes podcasting production company Archewell Audio. On launching the project Meghan announced that it would "dissect, explore, and subvert the labels that try to hold women back."

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