KEY POINTS

  • Meghan Markle denied that she received a bullying complaint from her former staff
  • Jason Knauf allegedly filed a complaint against the Duchess of Sussex to protect the staffers
  • Prince Harry allegedly pleaded with Knauf not to pursue the HR complaint against his wife

Meghan Markle denied the bullying complaint against her from one of her advisers, according to a report.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's sit-down interview with Oprah Winfrey is set to air over the weekend. However, on Tuesday, The Times in the U.K. claimed Markle faced a bullying complaint from one of her close advisers when she was still at Kensington Palace. Markle released a statement and strongly refuted the claim.

"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," Markle’s rep said in a statement to People. "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."

The complaint that The Times reported was made in October 2018 by the Sussexes' former communications secretary Jason Knauf. The outlet claimed Markle drove two personal assistants out of the household and undermined a third staff member's confidence.

Knauf submitted the complaint to protect the staffers from Markle's alleged bullying, the outlet reported. 

"I can't stop shaking," one royal aide who anticipated a confrontation with Markle allegedly said.

Prince Harry pleaded with Knauf not to pursue the HR complaint against his wife, according to The Times. However, their lawyers denied that a meeting took place and the Duchess of Sussex interfered with any staff matter.

In February 2019, Markle's friends told People that she had been the victim of "global bullying" by the tabloid press. "Meg has silently sat back and endured the lies and untruths," one of her pals said.

The report alleging Markle received a bullying complaint comes just days before the Sussexes’ interview with Oprah. Prince Harry and Markle’s sit-down interview airs on Sunday. In the first look at the royal couple’s interview, Oprah asked Markle if she was silent or being silenced. The host also said no topic was off-limits and exclaimed, “Pretty shocking,” upon hearing the statements of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex visit a local farming family, the Woodleys, on October 17, 2018 in Dubbo, Australia. Photo: Chris Jackson - Pool/Getty Images