Meghan Markle Bullying Review Looks Like 'PR Exercise to Muddy the Waters'

Allegations Meghan Markle bullied her staff may have been "stirred up to distract from the Oprah interview," according to the anti-monarchy campaign group Republic.

The Duchess of Sussex was accused of bullying her staff at Kensington Palace days before the broadcast of her Oprah Winfrey tell-all interview in March 2021.

A leaked story in the U.K. newspaper The Times regarding the bullying allegations led to a review being launched by Buckingham Palace but The Sunday Times reported on June 19, that the findings will not be made public.

Meghan Markle Oprah Winfrey
Oprah with Meghan and Harry. Oprah Winfrey speaks with Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, for CBS in a wide-ranging interview, covering everything from stepping into life as a Royal, marriage, motherhood and philanthropic work to how she is handling life under intense public Santa Barbra, 7 March 2021. Harpo Productions

The palace has not commented on the story but the suggestion led to fans of the duchess circulating the theory it was kept quiet because it exonerated Meghan.

Another possibility is that the palace wanted to avoid re-igniting trans-Atlantic warfare with the Sussexes.

Graham Smith, chief executive of the anti-Monarchy campaign group Republic, told Newsweek there should be transparency.

"There's an issue here which is whether the outcome may have been that it was all stirred up to distract from the Oprah interview, which was speculated at the time, so some openness would be helpful," he said.

"Also, have they bothered to look into the accusations of racism that came out of the Oprah interview? I think the answer is no. The whole thing looks like a PR exercise to muddy the waters and put them in the clear over the allegations that Meghan set out."

Meghan Markle Opens Invictus Games
Meghan Markle speaks during Prince Harry's Invictus Games 2020 opening ceremony, in The Hague, Netherlands, on April 16, 2022. She was accused of bullying staff at Kensington Palace. Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Meghan and Harry's Oprah interview was first announced in February 2021 shortly after she won a High Court case against The Mail on Sunday over the publication of a letter to her father.

However, as the world waited with bated breath to find out whether she would level bombshell allegations against the institution she left behind, an email sent by former Kensington Palace communications secretary Jason Knauf in October 2018 was leaked to The Times.

"I am very concerned that the duchess was able to bully two PAs out of the household in the past year," the email read. "The treatment of X [name removed] was totally unacceptable."

"The Duchess seems intent on always having someone in her sights. She is bullying Y [name removed] and seeking to undermine her confidence," he added. "We have had report after report from people who have witnessed unacceptable behavior towards Y [name removed]."

The review was launched in the aftermath of the leak and was widely interpreted as an investigation into Meghan, with many anticipating that it would either condemn or exonerate her.

Yet, the palace at the time were careful to avoid that kind of language, saying instead they would "look into" the accusations to "see if lessons can be learned."

However damaging the allegations themselves may have been to Meghan, her supporters online have been keen to see the findings in the belief she would be exonerated.

The suggestion the outcome has now been swept under the carpet led to an outpouring of accusations of a smear campaign by the royal family.

On Twitter, #RoyalFamilyLied was at one stage trending in Britain with 62,000 Tweets.

Activist Tshweu Moleme wrote: "So the royal family's report on alleged Meghan Markle bullying of staff is now 'buried' and she should just forget about it, after so many attempts to bury her name and reputation? In fact, she was bullied for months. Let her see the report."

Christopher Bouzy, who investigated social media trolling of Meghan as the founder of Bot Sentinel, wrote: "Why announce you are launching a probe into the Meghan Markle bullying claims, but refuse to release the findings of the probe? Seems like they didn't find anything, and they are too embarrassed to admit nothing was found."

Journalist Lorraine King wrote: "Interesting to see that most people I've seen tweeting want Buckingham Palace to publish the report into the Meghan bullying claims. Meghan supporters want it published so it can exonerate her while Meghan critics want it published so it can prove her guilt. Very interesting."

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