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In March, The Times published a report citing palace staff who had accused Meghan of driving out two personal assistants, with the staff also alleging that they had been “humiliated” by the duchess on multiple occasions.
According to the outlet, it had been approached by royal sources because they claimed to want to give their account of the “turmoil” within the royal household.
Following the report, which the duchess denied through a spokesperson, Buckingham Palace announced it had launched an investigation into the bullying allegations, explaining in a statement that the palace was “clearly very concerned” by the claims.
“Accordingly our HR team will look into the circumstances outlined in the article. Members of staff involved at the time, including those who have left the Household, will be invited to participate to see if lessons can be learned,” the statement added.
However, numerous people, including friends and former coworkers, have since publicly defended the former Suits star, with Meghan’s first boyfriend the latest to speak out in support of the duchess.
Speaking to Us Weekly, Joshua Silverstein, who Meghan met and dated at summer camp when they were both 13, said that he “personally doesn’t see” the duchess mistreating palace staff.
“I see her doing whatever it is she feels like she should do in order to be happy and coexist within a system that has probably not been very welcoming to who she is and where she comes from,” he continued.
Silverstein also acknowledged the role Meghan’s race may play in the allegations, telling the outlet: “When you find women of colour - particularly Black women - standing up for themselves and speaking out and speaking against what they feel [is] disrespect or oppression, often times whiteness tends to classify that in negative ways because they don’t want that to happen.
“It’s almost like people are expected to know their place and whenever they don’t fall in line with that, then people say it’s a problem.”
During a bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey in March, the duke and duchess spoke of experiencing racism during their time as working royals, with Meghan revealing that concerns were raised by family members over the colour of the couple’s then-unborn child’s skin.
Despite relocating to California, where they are currently expecting their second child, Silverstein said that he believes the couple will continue to face “scrutiny” and “negative criticism” but that he hopes that they can be happy.
“She’s probably having to make hard decisions and uncomfortable ones for the sake of just being able to smile the next day,” he said. “That’s what life is about - making tough decisions so that you can live the life that allows you to thrive as the person you want to thrive as.
“As long as she’s happy and he’s happy, that’s all that matters.”
The duchess and Silverstein first met in 1993 when they attended the same theater camp, with Meghan reflecting on her brief childhood relationship with the comedian and actor during a 2013 interview with Larry King when she was asked about her first kiss.
“I was 13. It was at, like, a summer camp, and I kissed him,” she recalled at the time.