Serena Williams is sending support to her friend Meghan Markle in the wake of her and Prince Harry's prime-time interview with Oprah Winfrey.
The tennis superstar took to social media with a message about her friendship with Meghan, whom she called "selfless" and said "lives her life -- and leads by example -- with empathy and compassion." Williams said Meghan "teaches me every day what it means to be truly noble" and "her words illustrate the pain and cruelty she's experienced."
Among the topics discussed during the two-hour interview: How an unnamed member of the royal family raised concern over "how dark" Meghan's and Harry's unborn son Archie would be and how Meghan reached out for help regarding her mental health after a breaking point.
Harry said the conversation over Archie's skin tone is one he'll "never" share more about, calling it an "awkward" moment and one that left him "a bit shocked."
As for Meghan's suicidal thoughts, she said it was a "very clear and real and frightening constant thought" and that she received zero help from "one of the most senior people" of the royal "institution" nor from human resources. This chain of events, as the couple explained, led to them step back as senior royals. The two announced last month they "will not be returning as working members" of the royal family.
Williams wrote that she understands firsthand "the sexism and racism institutions and the media use to vilify women and people of color to minimize us, to break us down and demonize us."
"We must recognize our obligation to decry malicious, unfounded gossip and tabloid journalism. The mental health consequences of systemic oppression and victimization are devastating, isolating and all too often lethal," she continued. "I want Meghan's daughter, my daughter and your daughter to live in a society that is driven by respect."
Also in the interview with Winfrey, Harry and Meghan revealed they are expecting a a baby girl.
Meghan and Williams have been friends since meeting at the 2010 Super Bowl in Miami. The 23-time Grand Slam winner and her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, attended Meghan's and Harry's wedding in May 2018.
Williams was also one of the organizers of Meghan's star-studded baby shower in New York City when she was pregnant with Archie.
Meghan showed support for Williams as a royal by watching her play at both Wimbledon and the US Open in 2019.
"She couldn’t be a better friend to me," Williams said of Meghan in a press conference at the time. "Low moments, high moments, she’s always there and that’s all I want to be to her."
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text HELLO to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.