Meghan Markle Bullying Leak Not Authorized by Prince William—Royal Reporter

Bullying allegations against Meghan Markle, which were leaked days before her Oprah Winfrey interview, were not authorized by Prince William, according to the journalist behind the story.

The Duchess of Sussex was accused of forcing two PAs out of Kensington Palace in an email sent by her then communications secretary in October 2018.

The message was leaked to U.K. broadsheet The Times ahead of Meghan and Prince Harry's CBS tell-all, in March 2021.

The couple's official spokesperson said in a statement at the time that it was "a calculated smear campaign based on misleading and harmful information."

Valentine Low, royal correspondent for The Times, was asked whether Prince William was behind the leak on new BBC documentary The Princes and the Press.

Presenter Amol Rajan said: "Do you think that your story about the allegations of Meghan being a bully was licenced by Prince William. As in, do you think the people speaking to you had his tacit approval?"

Low replied: "Absolutely not."

He added: "It was extraordinary stuff to be told. These people, I know, two-and-a-half years later when I'm writing this story, and they were very glad I was writing this story, some of them were in tears. They were still psychologically traumatised.

"So something went badly wrong in those days."

The email was sent by the then Kensington Palace (Prince William's household) communications secretary, Jason Knauf, to William's then private secretary, Simon Case.

The October 2018 message read: "I am very concerned that the duchess was able to bully two PAs out of the household in the past year.

"The treatment of X [name removed] was totally unacceptable."

He added: "The Duchess seems intent on always having someone in her sights. She is bullying Y [name removed] and seeking to undermine her confidence.

"We have had report after report from people who have witnessed unacceptable behavior towards Y [name removed]."

Meghan's attorney also appeared on the documentary to say there were "massive, massive inaccuracies in that story" but added the duchess did not want to "negate anyone's personal experiences."

She said: "The overall allegation was that the Duchess of Sussex was guilty of bullying. Absolutely not. I think the first thing is to be really clear about what bullying is.

"What bullying actually means is improperly using power, repeatedly and deliberately to hurt someone physically or emotionally.

"The Duchess of Sussex has absolutely denied doing that. That said, she wouldn't want to negate anyone's personal experiences."

Rajan asked Afia whether Meghan's team provided evidence to refute the accusations.

Afia said: "It's really hard to prove a negative. If you haven't bullied someone how do you show that you haven't.

"Just denying an allegation, 'I didn't beat my wife,' doesn't address the underlying problem that the allegation has been made."

Buckingham Palace launched a review of the accusations surrounding Meghan's treatment of her staff which is ongoing.

Meghan Markle and Prince William
Prince William and Meghan Markle, pictured at Westminster Abbey, in London, on April 25, 2018. Royal correspondent Valentine Low says Prince William did not authorize the leak of an email accusing Meghan of bullying. Eddie Mulholland - WPA Pool/Getty Images