Meghan Markle Says 'I'm Ready to Talk' in New Oprah Interview Clip: 'It's Really Liberating'
Oprah also reveals she initially approached Meghan for an interview before the royal wedding but was turned down
Meghan Markle's friends are speaking up.
Following an article published by The Times in the U.K. on Tuesday featuring allegations from former palace staffers accusing Meghan of "bullying,"— claims the Duchess of Sussex has strenuously denied — several of her close friends are now defending her on social media.
New York City-based makeup artist Daniel Martin, who was behind Meghan's natural beauty look at her 2018 wedding, posted a passage from 6th-century Chinese philosopher Tao Te Ching on Instagram Friday, alongside an image of him with Meghan.
"Because she isn't self centered, people can see the light in her," reads the passage. "Because she does not boast of herself, she becomes a shining example. Because she does not glorify herself, she becomes a person of merit. Because she wants nothing from the world, the world cannot overcome her."
Samir Hussein/WireImage Meghan Markle
Actress Janina Gavankar spoke out via Twitter on Thursday, tweeting of her personal experience knowing Meghan.
"I have known Meghan for 17 years. Here's what she is: kind, strong, open. Here's what she's not: 'a bully,' " she wrote. "ANY of us who know her, feel the same thing from her broken silence: Relief. The truth shall set you free."
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The Good Place star Jameela Jamil spoke out against the royal family on Twitter Thursday, calling out the sexual misconduct allegations against Queen Elizabeth's son Prince Andrew.
"So lemme just get this straight. The palace were fine with all of Meghan's 'bullying' for years and years until a few days before they fear she may out them publicly. Seems like a legit claim," she wrote. "Maybe Andrew didn't go to Pedo island with Epstein, maybe it was MEGHAN DRESSED AS HIM!"
Jamil continued, "IF THIS IS WHAT THE ROYAL FAMILY IS COMFORTABLE DOING TO A HEAVILY PREGNANT WOMAN PUBLICLY.... can we even IMAGINE what they put her through privately? They seem terrified. Her interview hasn't even aired yet. What are they covering up? The stench of their desperation is rotten."
Silver Tree, a film producer, director and writer who attended Meghan and Harry's 2018 royal wedding, shared a series of photos of Meghan on Instagram with a lengthy caption.
"This is Meg. A real person- not a cover story," Tree wrote. "She is one of my very nearest and dearest. Like all her friends I love her madly."
The director went on to write examples of Meghan's caring nature, including checking in with her the day of the royal wedding.
"On her wedding day she checks in on me the morning of," Tree wrote. "It's her day, the world is standing by, it's a lot-but she wants the day to be special for me. 'You've come such a long way' she says 'Are you jet lagged?' she says 'I made you a playlist to listen to while you get ready' she says..."
Tree added, "This is Meg before she met H. This is Meg now. She's always been this person. She's not a headline. She's my friend. I love her."
Patrick J. Adams — who played Meghan's love interest on Suits, the show on which Meghan starred on before marrying Prince Harry — shared a number of tweets in defense of his former costar on Friday.
"Meghan Markle and I spent the better part of a decade working together on Suits. From day one she was an enthusiastic, kind, cooperative, giving, joyful and supportive member of our television family. She remained that person and colleague as fame, prestige and power accrued," he began.
Adams said as Meghan became more recognized and written about in the media, he was "sickened" to see the "endless racist, slanderous, clickbaiting vitriol spewed in her direction from all manner of media across the UK and the world." However, he "knew that Meghan was stronger than people realized or understood and they would regret underestimating her."
The actor slammed the royal family for "promoting and amplifying accusations of 'bullying' against a woman who herself was basically forced to flea the UK in order to protect her family and her own mental health."
He concluded, "Find someone else to admonish, berate and torment. My friend Meghan is way out of your league."
The creator of Suits, Aaron Korsh, also called Meghan a "strong woman with a kind heart."
"Meghan Markle is not a monster," he wrote on Twitter Friday. "She's a strong woman with a kind heart who's trying to make her way in an unimaginable situation. I don't know the specifics of some incident from years ago but if late night emails makes you a horrible person, then I'm going to hell 50 times over."
Jon Cowan, a writer for Suits, stood up for Meghan in a tweet on Thursday, saying that she was a "warm, kind, caring person."
"It's also possible the Duchess of Sussex is a good person thrust into an unimaginable world," he wrote in response to a now-deleted tweet. "Having spent 3 years working with her in her pre-Duchess days, I saw a warm, kind, caring person. I know nothing of her current situation but she gets the benefit of the doubt in my book."
Angela Harvey, a TV writer, also said she was a "loved" coworker on Suits.
"I worked on a set in Toronto when Meghan was on Suits," she tweeted. "The ADs, PAs, and other crew on my show who had also worked with her loved her. LOVED. Set dynamics being what they are... I do not believe this bullying narrative for a microsecond."
On Thursday, Meghan's longtime friend, writer and television producer Lindsay Jill Roth, also spoke out in defense of the Duchess of Sussex in a lengthy Instagram, writing, "Meg's M.O. has always been kindness; goodwill runs in her bones. 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."
"If she's driving with you in the passenger seat, she will fling her right arm in front of you at the slightest bump in a gesture of love to ensure your safety," The What Pretty Girls Are... author continued. "If you have a specific goal, she will help you get there, and your passions will become hers on your behalf."
"If you ever have the pleasure of meeting Meg - and I hope more of you do - you will see the altruistic, magnanimous friend who I am so lucky to have in my corner," she wrote.
Roth also described Meghan, who served as the maid of honor at her wedding, as "laugh out loud funny" and "smart."
The Times article surfaced complaints made in October 2018 by the couple's former communications secretary Jason Knauf, which claimed that Meghan drove two personal assistants out of the household and undermined the confidence of a third staff member. The piece was published just five days before Meghan and Prince Harry's highly anticipated sit-down interview with Oprah Winfrey, airing Sunday on CBS.
"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," a spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE. "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."
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In response to the legal letter to The Times which reportedly said the newspaper was being "being used by Buckingham Palace to peddle a wholly false narrative" before the Oprah Winfrey interview, a source tells PEOPLE, "It is unfair, untrue and disingenuous to say that the palace is coordinating this."
There "are far more important things we are focusing on," a source adds, referring to Prince Philip's illness and his ongoing care following a heart procedure, the calls that the Queen has been making about vaccinations and the ongoing business of state.
Apart from confirming that they didn't know about the Oprah interview before the news was broken, the palace hasn't commented on what is in the interview.