Prince Harry and Meghan Markle walk through the corridors of the Palace of Holyroodhouse on their way to a reception for young people at the Palace on February 13, 2018 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Credit: Andrew Milligan – WPA Pool/Getty Images.

In the lead up to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey, the British press have gone on a smear campaign against the couple, criticising everything from the Duke’s grey suit to the interview being aired while Prince Philip is ill.

While most of the reports are baseless tabloid gossip— and the exact kind of nonsense which resulted in the couple leaving the UK in the first place—on Tuesday evening UK time, The Times released a report alleging it was approached by Royal palace aides who claimed one of Markle’s former advisors filed a bullying complaint against her while she was at Kensington Palace. The publication reports, “the complaint claimed [Markle] drove two personal assistants out of the household and was undermining the confidence of a third staff member.”

Credit: Victoria Jones/AFP via Getty Images. 

A spokesperson for the Sussexes denied the claim in response to The Times, saying it was “based on misleading and harmful misinformation.” The rep added Markle “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 statement by the couple noted it’s no coincidence that the report comes days out from their sit-down interview with Winfrey. “Let’s just call this what it is — a calculated smear campaign based on misleading and harmful misinformation,” it reads. “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 highly anticipated conversation between Prince Harry, Markle and Winfrey will be the couple’s first joint interview since announcing their engagement in 2017. CBS’ Gayle King, a reporter and longtime best friend to Winfrey, has said Winfrey considers this “the best interview she’s ever done.”

In the trailer for the special, the trio sit outside in Prince Harry and Markle’s sprawling Montecito, California backyard. The couple are clearly emotional in the clip—tears pool in Markle’s eyes as Winfrey says to her, “it sounds like there was a breaking point,” seemingly referencing the family’s decision to step away from the Royal family and relocate to Los Angeles.

For every detail—including how and when you can watch the Oprah special—head here.

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