The backlash from Piers Morgan's commentary against Meghan Markle continues to mount, as the Duchess of Sussex reportedly lodged a formal complaint with U.K. broadcaster ITV after the talk show host doubted her claims, made in the bombshell Oprah Winfrey interview, on the Monday, March 8, edition of Good Morning Britain.
Markle reportedly insisted that she was not upset by Morgan's remarks, but wanted to launch the complaint out of concern for how his comments could affect viewers who were also struggling with mental health issues, the Daily Mail reported.
After the U.K.’s Office of Communications received over 41,000 complaints about Morgan’s behavior by late Tuesday, the broadcasting regulator launched an investigation into whether Morgan's commentary violated the broadcasting code on harm and offense, according to The Guardian.
Amid the backlash, Morgan quit the morning show on Tuesday, March 9. "Following discussions with ITV, Piers Morgan has decided now is the time to leave Good Morning Britain," ITV shared in a statement. "ITV has accepted this decision and has nothing further to add."
His sudden departure came just hours after he stormed off the stage live following a dispute with co-host Alex Beresford, who called him out for continuing to "trash" the brunette beauty following her and Prince Harry's bombshell interview on Sunday, March 7.
As OK! previously reported, Meghan admitted to Oprah that she had "very clear and very scary" suicidal thoughts during her time as a senior working member of the royal family. She claimed she "went to the institution, and I said I needed to go somewhere to get help." However she was allegedly told she couldn't seek assistance because "it wouldn’t be good for the institution."
One day after the couple's primetime tell-all, Morgan expressed his doubt about Meghan's claim that the palace denied her request for help.
"Who did you go to? What did they say to you? I'm sorry, I don't believe a word she said, Meghan Markle. I wouldn't believe it if she read me a weather report," Morgan, 55, stressed on the Monday episode of the morning show. "The fact that she's fired up this onslaught against our Royal Family I think is contemptible."
Following his comments, TV honchos wanted the controversial host to apologize on air, Page Six reported. However, Morgan stood by his accusations against the Duchess, which caused tension to rise between him and Beresford.
"I’m sorry, but Piers spouts off on a regular basis and we all have to sit there and listen. Six-thirty to seven o’clock yesterday was incredibly hard to watch. Incredibly hard to watch… He has the ability to come in here and talk from a position where he doesn’t fully understand," Beresford stated, calling Morgan's behavior "diabolical."
During the episode, Beresford said he knows Morgan isn't a fan of Markle because he has made it "so clear, a number of times on this program," adding that Markle cut Morgan off in the past, which "she's entitled to do."
"OK I'm done with this," Morgan said as he got up to leave. However, he returned moments later to slam Beresford and reiterate, "as an all-encompassing thing, I don’t believe what Meghan Markle is saying generally in this interview."
He added: “But let me just state on the record my position about mental illness and on suicide. These are clearly extremely serious things that should be taken extremely seriously, and if someone is feeling that way, they should get the treatment and help they need every time.”
Morgan has since taken to Twitter to re-state his opinions once more. "On Monday, I said I didn’t believe Meghan Markle in her Oprah interview. I’ve had time to reflect on this opinion, and I still don’t," he tweeted. "If you did, OK. Freedom of speech is a hill I’m happy to die on. Thanks for all the love, and hate. I’m off to spend more time with my opinions."
On Monday, I said I didn’t believe Meghan Markle in her Oprah interview. I’ve had time to reflect on this opinion, and I still don’t. If you did, OK. Freedom of speech is a hill I’m happy to die on. Thanks for all the love, and hate. I’m off to spend more time with my opinions. pic.twitter.com/bv6zpz4Roe— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) March 10, 2021