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Meghan Markle‘s lawyer tonight issued a technical and bizarre denial the Duchess had ever bullied staff – but then accepted ‘She wouldn’t want to negate anyone’s personal experiences.’
Schillings Jenny Afia was speaking on BBC 2’s The Princes and Press on claims she inflicted ’emotional cruelty’ on underlings and ‘drove them out’ were ‘very’ concerning.
But speaking to host Amol Rajan she claimed there were ‘massive inaccuracies’ in the story, but went no further in explaining them.
Instead she launched her own technical explanation on what bullying was/
She said: ‘Massive, massive innacuracies in that story
‘The overall allegation was that the Duchess of Sussex was guilty of bullying. Absolutely not.
‘I think the first thing is, is to be really clear about what bullying is.
‘What bullying actually means is improperly using power, repeatedly and deliberately to hurt someone physically or emotionally
‘The Duchess of Sussex has absolutely denied doing that, that said she wouldn’t want to negate anyone’s personal experiences.’
Asked if she provided evidence proving that was not the case, she admitted: ‘It’s really hard to prove a negative. If you haven’t bullied someone how do you show that you haven’t. Just denying an allegation “I didn’t beat my wife” doesn’t address the underlying problem that the allegation has been made.’
Jenny Afia was speaking on BBC 2’s The Princes and Press on claims she inflicted ’emotional cruelty on aides working under her at the palace
Meghan and Harry have both denied bullying through their lawyer on the BBC show
The programme also touched on the day Archie was born and a press release was sent out saying the Duchess was in labour.
In fact, by then she had already given birth – it would be three days later before a picture of him was released.
It was in stark contrast to previous Royal babies which has seen photocalls outside hospital.
Broadcaster Trevor Phillips said: ‘It became clear that they had not really grasped that in return for the fairytale you have to give the people outside the castle something, or they just decided they didn’t want to play the game.
‘The point at which you decide you’re not going to play the game, well don’t expect other people to play by the rules.’
The episode seemed to have less new detail in it than the first and ended with a monologue from host Amol Rajan, which did not quite seem to fit the contents.
He ended the show with: ‘Both the monarchy and the media derive their power from the stories they tell.
‘Those stories allow each generation of our monarchy to renew its emotional contract with the people
‘The media get content the monarchy get consent
‘In Royal journalism the truth is hard to ascertain what matters is whose version of it, you, me, all of us, believe.’
The programme also featured Peter Hunt, the BBC’s former royal correspondent on it
Amol Rajan finished the programme with a monologue that did not quite reflect the episode
It comes a week after the first episode of the controversial documentary sparked a row between the BBC and the Royal Family.
The BBC was accused of giving credibility to ‘overblown and unfounded claims’ after the broadcaster had aired allegations surrounding Prince Harry and Meghan’s departure from Britain.
The controversial documentary was also criticised for being ‘very biased’ against Prince William and Prince Charles, while painting a picture favourable to Harry and Meghan.
Royal expert Angela Levin said it was telling that the corporation’s final interview of the first episode was with the Duchess of Sussex’s British lawyer, while the Royal Family’s response was a written statement shown on screen.
Jenny Afia, Head of Legal at Schillings, who represents Meghan and was speaking with the Duchess’ permission insisted bullying claims printed about the Duchess were ‘false’ and said she rejected the ‘narrative’ that the former Suits actress was ‘difficult to work with’.
Minutes earlier, Omid Scobie, the royal journalist dubbed ‘Meghan’s mouthpiece’, had claimed that members of Royal households had briefed against Meghan and Harry during their time in the UK.
Royals are understood to have been left furious that they did not get sufficient opportunity to reply to the allegations in the show, and are said to have threatened a boycott on future projects with the BBC after courtiers were not allowed to view the programme before the first episode was aired.
In the joint statement to the show, Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace and Clarence House last night said it was ‘disappointing’ that the broadcaster had given credibility to ‘overblown and unfounded claims‘ surrounding Harry and Meghan’s departure from Britain.
The BBC was accused of giving credibility to ‘overblown and unfounded claims’ about the Royal Family last night as it broadcast a controversial documentary about William and Harry (pictured in July 2018)
In the strongly-worded joint statement given to the BBC ahead of last night’s programme, representatives for the Queen (pictured), Prince Charles and Prince William said: ‘A free, responsible and open Press is of vital importance to a healthy democracy
The Palace provided a written statement with the Queen, Prince William and Prince Charles understood to be considering collectively complain to regulator Ofcom for the first time in history.
The statement said: ‘A free, responsible and open Press is of vital importance to a healthy democracy.
‘However, too often overblown and unfounded claims from unnamed sources are presented as facts and it is disappointing when anyone, including the BBC, gives them credibility.’
In response to ‘unfounded’ claims that Prince William and his staff briefed the media against Harry and Meghan, the royal banned the BBC from showing a charity Christmas carol concert hosted by his wife Kate and instead offered it to ITV.
But insiders have suggested that the Christmas concert could be the tip of the iceberg.
ITV insiders confirmed they were offered the show only late last week and are still negotiating a fee with BBC Studios, the production arm of the corporation making the programme.
One source said it was clear that William, who worked with the BBC over his Earthshot Prize but is protective of his staff and their reputations, would have to ‘seriously consider’ any further projects.
The episode featured Dan Wootton who spoke about his story, which became known as ‘Tiaragate’. It also featured Jenny Afia a lawyer from Schillings who works with the Duchess of Sussex
The first episode of The Princes and The Press detailed media coverage of the young royals from 2012 to 2018, when Harry and Meghan became engaged.
It included claims of ‘competitiveness’ between the different royal households. Dan Wootton, then a Sun a journalist and now a columnist at MailOnline, also spoke about his ‘Tiaragate’ article about the Duchess in November 2018.
The article carried claims of a row between Meghan and members of the royal household over her pick of a tiara at her wedding with Prince Harry. It is claimed Meghan wanted to wear an emerald tiara, but her first choice was vetoed by the Queen.
A row is alleged to have ensued, in which it is claimed Harry said: ‘What Meghan wants, Meghan gets.’
Mr Wootton also addressed bullying claims made by Meghan’s staff against her – claims that she denies and are currently subject to a palace investigation.
He said: ‘It took six months for it to get out after the wedding so when people like to say the press are going for Harry and Meghan, you had it in for Harry and Meghan. I completely disagree.
‘It was actually these people behind the scenes who started to get annoyed, before any of it was public.
‘At that point no national newspaper had dared to really dive into this huge war that was developing behind the scenes.
‘And part of that was that no one in the royal rota was really prepared to break that story either.
‘So I did take someone like me, as an outsider, to actually say ‘no I’m going to do it’
Meanwhile, Jenny Afia, a lawyer from Schillings who works with the Duchess of Sussex spoke on camera and denied reports that Meghan was ‘difficult’ to work with.
She said: ‘Those stories were false. This narrative that no one can work with the Duchess of Sussex that she was too difficult, demanding a boss, and that everyone had to leave is just not true.’
It is understood that the BBC provided a written memo, outlining relevant allegations, but refused requests to provide an advance copy of the two hour-long episodes.