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Meghan Markle's TV dad Wendell Pierce defends her against 'ugly' negative press

Suzy Byrne
·Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
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Meghan Markle’s Suits dad will always have her back.

Wendell Pierce, who played Markle’s father on the USA Network show from 2011 to 2018, talked about the negative press attention she’s faced since quitting Hollywood to marry Prince Harry. Markle got candid about it in the ITV documentary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, including saying that her British friends warned her that the U.K. tabloids would “destroy” her life.

There are people that don’t have our best interests at heart,” Pierce told U.K.’s Metro while talking about Markle. “That’s the ugly side of human nature and you try to not focus on that — you try to focus on the good side of human nature.”

Pierce talked about the good his TV daughter has been doing in the world.

“I choose to focus on her patronage of the arts, of the charities, of the abused women, of underserved communities,” Pierce continued. “She was just at a charity in South Africa with a surfing school for at-risk kids — taking the natural world as a connection for something that could actually help these kids make that the next step in their lives to a better future.”

SUITS -- "Shame" Episode 709 -- Pictured: (l-r) Wendell Pierce as Robert Zane, Meghan Markle as Rachel Zane -- (Photo by: Ian Watson/USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)
Wendell Pierce and Meghan Markle as Robert and Rachel Zane on Suits. (Photo: Ian Watson/USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

The Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan actor went on to say, “I choose to focus on that. The negative press is just an example of the ugly side of human nature, and she’s actually showing us when they take the low road, she takes the high road. By demonstrating that, she shows the better part of ourselves.”

Pierce added, “That’s a real part of our humanity and she’s showing you how to deal with it. So actually, by example, she’s doing really well.”

Since Suits ended, Pierce has been in London appearing in Death of a Salesman on the West End. He said Markle, with whom he exchanges messages, has an open invitation to attend. “She was having a baby for the first half of the year, so hopefully I’ll see her on the second half of my run,” he said.

Markle’s relationship with her real father, Thomas Markle, has been part of the onslaught of negative press she’s faced. Earlier this month, Prince Harry and Markle announced they’re suing British tabloids for spreading “relentless propaganda.” At the heart of the lawsuit is a private letter Markle sent her estranged father "at a time of great personal anguish and distress,” shortly after her royal wedding.

In the Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, Markle speaks for the first time about the struggles she’s faced adjusting to life as a royal, mother and wife while also dealing with the British tabloids. She also said that her British friends warned it it wouldn’t be an easy ride.

“‘I’m sure he’s great but you shouldn’t do it because the British tabloids will destroy your life,’” she recalled being warned. She said she “very naively” responded, “‘What are you talking about?’ ... I didn’t get it.”

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