When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle appeared in a tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey last month, it divided opinions across the globe. While the interview prompted thousands of complaints to British broadcasting regulator Ofcom, numerous A-listers, politicians and pundits alike spoke out in support of the couple.
The interview heard Meghan open up about a number of struggles she’s faced as a result of being a part of ‘the firm’ – from the racism she’s been subjected to in the British press – and, most shockingly, within the royal family itself – to her struggles with suicidal thoughts while pregnant with Archie.
But it’s claims that Meghan ‘bullied’ palace aides that have been fanning the flame further in the wake of the landmark interview.
In a report published last month in The Times, just days before the Oprah interview aired, it was found that a bullying claim was filed against Meghan for her alleged treatment of aides during the two years she spent as a working royal.
Close friends and former co-stars were quick to come to Meghan’s defence, with a representative of the Duchess calling the claims ‘an attack on her character’. Now, Meghan’s first boyfriend Joshua Silverstein has spoken out, too – weighing in on why he thinks the allegations are false.
Speaking to Us Weekly, Silverstein explained why he doesn’t “personally see her” mistreating palace aides.
“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 explained.
“When you find women of colour — particularly Black women — standing up for themselves and speaking out and speaking against what they feel [is] disrespect or oppression, often times 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.”
Joshua met the Duchess at a church camp when they were both 13 – with Meghan later joking in a TV interview with Larry King that she made the first move and kissed him.
Defending Meghan and Harry’s decision to take a partial step back from the spotlight, Silverstein added, “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.”