Meghan, Duchess of Sussex is "saddened" by a report claiming a former aide made a bullying complaint against her while she was a working royal at Kensington Palace.
A spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said in a statement to ITK on Wednesday that she "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."
The Tuesday report in the British publication The Times alleges that then-communications secretary Jason Knauf filed the bullying complaint in 2018, saying Meghan "drove two personal assistants out of the household and was undermining the confidence of a third staff member."
The claims came to light just days before a highly anticipated interview with Meghan and husband Prince HarryPrince HarryPrince Harry and Meghan announce partnership with asset management fund Ethic Global Citizen Live concert raises .1 billion to fight poverty Prince Harry, Meghan Markle urge worldwide access to COVID-19 vaccines MORE is poised to air on CBS. In the sit-down with Oprah WinfreyOprah Gail WinfreyCourt rules Prince Philip's will to remain sealed for 90 years Piers Morgan joining News Corp., will host new show on Fox Nation Royal family supports BLM movement, senior representative says MORE airing Sunday, the couple is said to open up about their choice to step back as senior members of the royal family, among other topics.
A spokesperson for the couple — who married in 2018 — called The Times story "a calculated smear campaign based on misleading and harmful misinformation" in a statement to NBC News.
"We are disappointed to see this defamatory portrayal of The Duchess of Sussex given credibility by a media outlet. 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 statement said.
The pair moved with their 1-year-old son, Archie, to California — the former Meghan MarkleMeghan MarklePrince Harry and Meghan announce partnership with asset management fund Ethic Harry and Meghan join celeb-filled vaccine equity event Royal family supports BLM movement, senior representative says MORE's home state — last year. They officially informed Queen Elizabeth that they would not be returning as working members of the Royal Family following a 12-month review that they initiated, Buckingham Palace announced last month.
In the statement refuting the Times report, Meghan and Prince Harry's spokesperson said Wednesday that the Duchess of Sussex "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."
In its own statement Wednesday, Buckingham Palace said it is "clearly very concerned about allegations in the Times" and that its "HR team will look into the circumstances involved."
“Members of staff involved at the time, including those who have left the Household, will be invited to participate to see if lessons can be learned,” the palace said.
Following allegations in The Times, Buckingham Palace have released the following statement: pic.twitter.com/WdMSWtubYq— Omid Scobie (@scobie) March 3, 2021
—Updated at 1:37 p.m.