“I see her doing whatever it is she feels like she should do in order to be happy and coexist within a system that has probably not been very welcoming to who she is and where she comes from,” he told the outlet.
“When you find women of color — particularly Black women — standing up for themselves and speaking out and speaking against what they feel [is] disrespect or oppression, oftentimes whiteness tends to classify that in negative ways because they don’t want that to happen,” he continued. “It’s almost like people are expected to know their place and whenever they don’t fall in line with that, then people say it’s a problem.”
The performer told the outlet that while he’s happy the former American actress, 39, is back in her native California with her husband Prince Harry, he doesn’t think the “scrutiny” and “negative criticism” will disappear.
“She’s probably having to make hard decisions and uncomfortable ones for the sake of just being able to smile the next day,” he said. “That’s what life is about — making tough decisions so that you can live the life that allows you to thrive as the person you want to thrive as.”
“As long as she’s happy and he’s happy, that’s all that matters,” he added.
Markle’s team has strongly refuted the bullying claims.
“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 sent to Fox News on March 3.
“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,” the statement added.
According to The Times, the complaint was first made in October 2018, by Jason Knauf, the couple’s former communications secretary. The complaint alleged that the former American actress drove two personal assistants out of the household and undermined the confidence of a third staff member.
The outlet reported that Knauf submitted the complaint in an effort to protect palace staffers who alleged they were being bullied by Markle. Some claimed they were even reduced to tears.
One royal aide allegedly told a colleague: “I can’t stop shaking.”
A source alleged that Harry, 36, pleaded with Knauf not to pursue the complaint. However, attorneys for the couple deny that the meeting took place or that Harry interfered with any staff matters.
The outlet said Knauf allegedly sent an email to Simon Case, who served as Prince William’s private secretary at the time. The email was then forwarded to Samantha Carruthers, head of human resources. In the email, Knauf claimed Carruthers “agreed with me on all counts that the situation was very serious,” adding, “I remain concerned that nothing will be done.”
A spokesperson for the Sussexes fired back at the allegations.
“Let’s just call this what it is – a calculated smear campaign based on misleading and harmful misinformation,” the spokesperson told the outlet.
“We are disappointed to see this defamatory portrayal of The Duchess of Sussex given credibility by a media outlet,” the spokesperson continued. “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.”
Markle married Queen Elizabeth II’s grandson at Windsor Castle in May 2018. Their son Archie was born a year later.
On Valentine’s Day, the couple confirmed to Fox News that they are expecting their second child.
Markle and Harry stepped away from full-time royal life in March 2020, unhappy at media scrutiny and the strictures of their roles. They cited what they described as the intrusions and racist attitudes of the British media toward the duchess, who is African American.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.