PRINCE Harry begged his communications officers to stop pursuing claims of bullying by Meghan Markle, according to reports.
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Prince Harry allegedly begged Jason Knauf not to pursue the bullying claimsCredit: Getty Images – Getty
She is said to have driven two personal assistants out of the household and undermined the confidence of a third.
Jason Knauf, then the couple’s communications assistant, reportedly submitted the complaint in October 2018 to protect palace staff who were allegedly coming under pressure from the Duchess.
After hearing about the complaint, Harry then held a meeting where he pleaded with Mr Knauf not to pursue it, the newspaper reports.
Lawyers for the royal couple have denied any meeting took place and insist the Duke, 36, would not have interfered with a staff matter.
According to The Times, there was a tense atmosphere at the Palace during Meghan’s time there – with staff occasionally reduced to tears.
One royal aide, anticipating a row with the duchess, is alleged to have told a colleague: “I can’t stop shaking.”
The report claims Meghan “humiliated” at least one ex-staffer while another said the Duchess’ behaviour felt “more like emotional cruelty and manipulation…”
Another source told the paper: “There were a lot of broken people. Young women were broken by their behaviour.”
Meanwhile, one source claimed Samantha Cohen, then the couple’s private secretary, had also been “treated terribly”.
They added: “Nothing was ever good enough.
“It was, ‘She doesn’t understand, she’s failing.”
Last night Meghan and Harry’s lawyers told The Times that the newspaper is “being used by Buckingham Palace to peddle a wholly false narrative” just days before the Oprah interview is aired in the USA.
The couple have filmed the interview with the chat-show queen which will be screened on Sunday.
But there have been calls for Oprah to shelve the two-hour long chat as Prince Philip, 99, remains in hospital.
A spokesman for the Sussexes has today issued a statement branding the bullying claims “distorted several-year-old accusations.
He said: “Let’s just call this what it is — a calculated smear campaign based on misleading and harmful misinformation. 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.
“In a detailed legal letter of rebuttal to The Times, we have addressed these defamatory claims in full, including spurious allegations regarding the use of gifts loaned to The Duchess by The Crown.
“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.
“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.”
They also claimed the newspaper was “being used by Buckingham Palace to peddle a wholly false narrative.”
Jason Knauf is said to be the person who submitted the bullying allegations to HR
Meghan and Harry’s tell-all interview with air this weekend
The couple have hit back at the claims
Meghan’s lawyers say it is a ‘smear campaign’Credit: The Mega Agency