Meghan Markle Bullying Scandal Escalates: Outside Lawyers Reportedly Looking Into Stunning Claims Made By Royal Aides
The recent allegations accusing Meghan Markle of bullying royal aides during her time as a working royal will be looked into by independent external investigators rather than internal staff, according to a new report.
While Buckingham Palace said they would look into the claims made against the Duchess, they ultimately decided to hand the investigation off to a third-party.
The Palace initially said they would conduct an in-house inquiry after The Times London reported that the couple's former communications secretary, Jason Knauf, made a bullying complaint against Meghan — something the former actress has fiercely denied.
On March 2, the outlet alleged Meghan "drove two personal assistants out of the household and was undermining the confidence of a third staff member."
As OK! previously reported, Knauf — who filed the complaint in October 2018 — reportedly sent an email to the Duke of Cambridge's private secretary, Simon Case, who is now the cabinet secretary, after conversations with Samantha Carruthers, the head of HR.
ROYAL DRAMA! FROM MEGXIT TO CONTROVERSIAL MILLION-DOLLAR DEALS, A LOOK AT PRINCE HARRY & MEGHAN MARKLE'S SHOCKING SCANDALS
According to Daily Mail, the email read: "I am very concerned the duchess was able to bully two PAs out of the household in the past year. The treatment of X was totally unacceptable. The duchess seems intent on always having someone in her sights. She is bullying Y and seeking to undermine her confidence. We have had report after report from people who have witnessed unacceptable behavior towards Y."
After learning of his alleged complaint, Prince Harry, 36, reportedly insisted on meeting with Knauf to beg him not to pursue the complaint. Lawyers for the red-headed prince and Suits alum denied the meeting ever took place, The Times reported.
One day after the allegations made headlines, Buckingham Palace released a statement and said they are "clearly very concerned" about the allegations. They added that the palace HR team will "look into the circumstances outlined in the article," as well as try to speak to current and former staffers regarding the controversial claims.
- Meghan Markle Slams Bullying Claims From Royal Staffers, Calls It A 'Calculated Smear Campaign'
- Meghan Markle's Childhood Boyfriend To The Rescue — Ex Slams Bullying Claims Made Against The Duchess
- 'Find Someone Else To Admonish': Patrick J. Adams Defends Former 'Suits' Costar Meghan Markle Amid Bullying Allegations, Slams 'Obscene' Royal Family
"The Royal Household has had a Dignity at Work policy in place for a number of years and does not and will not tolerate bullying or harassment in the workplace," the statement said.
The shocking allegations came days prior to Harry and Meghan's bombshell tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey on Sunday, March 7, and just two weeks after the Palace confirmed that the power couple was officially stepping away from their senior royal duties.
PRINCE CHARMING IN REAL LIFE! THE 10 MOST ELIGIBLE ROYAL BACHELORS IN THE WORLD — SEE PHOTOS
A spokesperson for Harry and Meghan, 39 — who are expecting their second child together later this year — since slammed the allegations, calling them "a calculated smear campaign based on misleading and harmful misinformation."
They further noted that “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,” referring to the couple's tell-all with Oprah.
However, the spokesperson added that Meghan is "saddened by this latest attack on her character, particularly as someone who has been the target of bullying herself," adding that she is "deeply committed to supporting those who have experienced pain and trauma."
The Times London was the first to report that a third-party will look into the bullying accusations against Meghan.