The Duchess of Sussexis fighting back against new claims that she “bullied” palace aides during her tenure as a senior working royal.
The Times reported today that it was approached by royal palace aides who claim one of the duchess’s former advisors filed a bullying complaint against her while she was at Kensington Palace. The report arrives days before Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan’s sit-down chat with Oprah Winfrey is set to air on CBS.
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A spokesperson for the Sussexes denied the claim in the British newspaper, saying it was “based on misleading and harmful misinformation.” The rep added that Meghan views the claim as another dishonest attack on her character, something she and Prince Harry have long called out the British media for enabling and allowing. The couple’s lawyers also said The Times was being used “by Buckingham Palace to peddle a wholly false narrative” before their interview with Oprah.
“The Duchess is saddened by this latest attack on her character, particularly as someone who has been the target of bullying herself and is deeply committed to supporting those who have experienced pain and trauma,” the Sussexes’ spokesperson says in a statement shared with BAZAAR.com and The Times. “She is determined to continue her work building compassion around the world and will keep striving to set an example for doing what is right and doing what is good.”
A lengthy rebuttal from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s communications team to The Times also stated, “Let’s just call this what it is — a calculated smear campaign based on misleading and harmful misinformation. We are disappointed to see this defamatory portrayal of The Duchess of Sussex given credibility by a media outlet. It’s no coincidence that distorted several-year-old accusations aimed at undermining The Duchess are being briefed to the British media shortly before she and The Duke are due to speak openly and honestly about their experience of recent years.”
Buckingham Palace declined to provide a comment for The Times‘s report.
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US