Meghan said through a spokesperson that she is “saddened by this latest attack on her character,” after The Times of London published an article on Tuesday outlining claims by unnamed employees that the Duchess of Sussex had “humiliated” and “bullied” staff.
The spokesperson suggested that the article was intentionally published this week in an effort to undermine Meghan and Harry, who are set to appear in a highly anticipated two-hour interview special with Winfrey on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.
“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,” the spokesperson told The Times in the article published Tuesday.
Celebrities and other supporters of Meghan shared similar sentiments on Twitter.
Many people charged that such wide focus in the media on bullying claims made against Meghan follows a long history of racist tropes in which Black women are perceived as being aggressive. Meghan, who has a Black mother and a white father, has long been the target of racist coverage.
“Strong Black & bi-racial women of Black heritage are ALWAYS labelled ‘bully,’” wrote author, activist and lawyer Shola Mos-Shogbamimu.
Author and lawyer Meena Harris, who is Vice President Kamala Harris’ niece, tweeted on Wednesday: “Keep Meghan Markle’s name out of your damn mouth. You are racist.”
“Bad Feminist” author Roxane Gay addressed the allegations published about Meghan, as well as the Sussexes’ decision to step back from the royal family last year, on Wednesday: “Those British papers really cannot tolerate that Prince Harry loves a black woman.”
“He was right to leave,” she tweeted. “I don’t even think it was a hard decision. They will never ever stop trying to tear Meghan apart. It’s absolutely grotesque.”
Buckingham Palace released an eyebrow-raising statement on Wednesday, noting that its HR team will “look into the circumstances outlined” in the Times story. That article highlighted a bullying complaint made in October 2018 by Jason Knauf, who previously worked as a communications secretary for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Meghan’s supporters criticized the publication and other British media after The Times reported this week that the duchess had worn earrings sent as a wedding gift from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. (The Biden administration released an intelligence report on Friday finding that the crown prince was responsible for the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018.)
Some people who had worked with Meghan — once a star on the TV series “Suits” — shared their positive experiences with the former actor on Twitter.
Angela Harvey tweeted on Wednesday that she had worked on the set of “Suits” and that crew members who worked with Meghan “loved her.”
“LOVED,” she added. “Set dynamics being what they are ... I do not believe this bullying narrative for a microsecond.”
Actor Janina Gavankar tweeted on Thursday that she has known Meghan for 17 years, calling the duchess “kind, strong, open.”
TV producer Lindsay Roth shared a touching Instagram post about Meghan on Thursday, writing in the long caption that they had been friends for 22 years.
“Meg’s M.O. has always been kindness; goodwill runs in her bones,” Roth wrote. “I know this to be true after 22 years of very close friendship. I have seen firsthand how she treats her friends and their families, and her colleagues.”
Celebrities and other Twitter users have joined in to rally behind Meghan:
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.