A new edition of Finding Freedom claims that former palace staffers have already “rescinded” those Meghan Markle bullying accusations—despite Buckingham Palace’s ongoing investigation into the matter.
For those who may need a refresher, the Duchess of Sussex was accused of having bullied her former royal staffers prior to her royal exit with Prince Harry in 2020. These allegations first came to light in a report by The Times of London published in March 2021—just days ahead of the couple’s tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey. At the time, the Times article cited an October 2018 email by former royal communications secret, Jason Knauf, who claimed the Duchess “was able to bully two PAs out of the household in the past year.
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Knauf, who reportedly shared the details of Meghan’s alleged bullying “in an effort to protect staffers,” per the Times, referenced two employees in his HR complaint. “The treatment of [redacted] was totally unacceptable,” Knauf wrote, adding of the second staffer, “She is bullying [redacted] and seeking to undermine her confidence. We have had report after report from people who have witnessed unacceptable behavior towards [redacted.]” The Times‘ report alleges that Meghan’s husband, Prince Harry, also “pleaded” with Knauf not to pursue these complaints, to no avail.
However, according to a new edition of Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family, out August 31, the Times‘ report left out some crucial details about these alleged bullying claims. According to the book’s biographers Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, Meghan’s former staffers asked to retract their complaints when they found out that Knauf shared the details of their allegations without their permission.
An excerpt of the book’s epilogue, via Entertainment Tonight, reveals, “sources confirmed that upon discovery of Jason [Knauf]’s email, two of the individuals mentioned in the email asked for any allegations made to HR about their experiences with Meghan to be rescinded.” The book also claims that the Duke of Sussex never even had a meeting with Knauf about the allegations.
After the allegations first came to light in March, a spokesperson for the Sussexes immediately denied all claims of bullying, calling the Times report a “calculated smear campaign” against the couple ahead of their tell-all special with Oprah. Even so, Buckingham Palace launched a formal investigation into the allegations by the end of the month—the results of which were expected to be determined by June. But on June 20, The Times reported the Palace’s verdict could be delayed until 2022—which means these new details from Finding Freedom may even have the opportunity to impact the investigation, though it remains to be seen.
For more about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, read Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand’s New York Times bestseller, Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family. The book tells all on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s relationship—from their wedding and how they met, to the birth of their first son, Archie. Finding Freedom also dives into the “true story” of why Harry and Meghan left the royals at the end of 2019 and moved to the United States amid their drama with their family. Consisting of interviews and accounts with Harry and Meghan’s closest confidants, Finding Freedom is a must-read for any royal follower.
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