Stars react to Meghan Markle, Prince Harry interview with Oprah

March 8 (UPI) -- Tennis star Serena Williams, television personality Bethenny Frankel and other stars reacted Sunday following Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's much-discussed interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Williams, 39, expressed support for Markle, her close and "selfless" friend, after the duchess of Sussex said in the interview that she had suicidal thoughts and experienced racism while living with the royal family.


"Meghan Markle, my selfless friend, lives her life -- and leads by example -- with empathy and compassion," Williams wrote on Twitter and Instagram.

A taped interview with Markle, Harry and Winfrey aired Sunday night on CBS News. Markle discussed how she had constant thoughts of suicide while pregnant with her first child, son Archie.

Markle, who is biracial, also said there were conversations about the possible skin tone of her first child with Harry. She did not share specifics of with whom those conversations were had.


"I know first hand the sexism and racism institutions and the media use to vilify women and people of color to minimize us, to break us down and demonize us," Williams responded in her post. "We must recognize our obligation to decry malicious, unfounded gossip and tabloid journalism."

"The mental health consequences of systemic oppression and victimization are devastating, isolating and all too often lethal."

Markle and Harry married in May 2018. Markle is pregnant with the couple's second child and is due to give birth to a girl this summer.

"I want Meghan's daughter, my daughter and your daughter to live in a society that is driven by respect," Williams wrote. "Keep in your memory the fruitage of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness, self-control. Against such things there is no law."

Markle's makeup artist Daniel Martin showed his support for the duchess by sharing a photo of Markle and Harry and quoting the Maya Angelou poem "Still I Rise" on Instagram.

"'You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may trod me in the very dirt But still, like, dust, I'll rise.' #mayaangelou #loveislove," he wrote.


Matt James, the first Black star of The Bachelor, appeared to address Markle and Harry's interview in a tweet Sunday.

"Not surprised at all by what I'm hearing, just a sad reminder," he wrote.

Frankel, who starred on the Bravo reality series Real Housewives of New Jersey, apologized Sunday after previously criticizing Markle for the interview. Prior to the interview airing, Frankel had called Markle a "fairly unknown actress" who was now "fetching 7 m for interviews, hundreds of millions in media deals."

In a later tweet, Frankel said hearing Markle speak about the "emotional distress & racism" she's experienced changed her opinion of the interview.

"I watched M & H sit down. Emotional distress & racism must feel suffocating & powerless. I'm a polarizing, unfiltered (often to a fault) flawed person w a voice. When I heard of the interview, during a pandemic, it felt like a surprising choice. I'm sorry if I hurt or offended you," she wrote.


British television personality Piers Morgan criticized Markle on Twitter, calling the interview a "disgraceful betrayal" of Harry's grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, and the monarchy.

"This interview is an absolutely disgraceful betrayal of the Queen and the Royal Family. I expect all this vile destructive self-serving nonsense from Meghan Markle - but for Harry to let her take down his family and the Monarchy like this is shameful," Morgan wrote.

"Harry wants America and the rest of the world to hate his own family, hate the Monarchy and hate his country. I suggest everyone waits for the victims of his wife's rampage to have their say on her outlandish claims before they do so," he added.

Markle and Harry stepped back from the British royal family in 2020. The couple confirmed in February that they won't return to their royal duties.


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