Days before Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry's tell-all sit-down with Oprah Winfrey was set to air on CBS on March 7, 2021, a report in London's The Times newspaper unleashed controversy as it claimed Meghan had been accused of bullying staffers two and a half years ago, sparking the palace to open an investigation. Many of Meghan's famous supporters — and foes — took to social media to weigh in. See what they had to say, starting with a longtime pal and colleague… Meghan's friend and former co-star Abigail Spencer posted a lengthy message on Instagram (so long that it continued into her comments in multiple posts), and a slew of stars including Mindy Kaling, January Jones, Katharine McPhee, JoAnna Garcia Swisher and Lisa Love responded with heart emojis. It begins, "It was 2015 and I was in Austin at a work event, headed to dinner at a local outdoor, dusty establishment. My childhood friend and her husband had come to Austin for the weekend to see me. On the way to dinner I was texting Meg telling her where I was going and that she and her castmates should join me. I wanted her to meet my 'Rectify' family, wanted my friends to get a taste of the local fare, wanted Meg to meet my childhood friend, and most of all I wanted everyone to meet Meg."
Keep reading for the next part of Abigail's post, and to see more reactions — positive and negative — to Meghan' palace drama ahead of her Oprah interview air date…
Actress Abigail Spencer continued, "Meg arrived. This incredibly singular beauty danced over to the group, with a huge, easy smile, to warmly greet the table. Meg and I hadn't seen each other in a minute. But when we did, boy oh boy. Picture butterflies trying to hug. After our greeting, she got right to business: getting to know my friends. She was so curious about each of them, relishing the time… with them. Disarming them with her charm and genuine curiosity. I was so touched. By this point I had known and worked with Meg for years. She's what I'd call 'an on-call friend.' At the ready. She's modeled nothing but generous professionalism on sets and an even more generous friendship in private. And on that night, she took my friends as her own."
Keep reading for the conclusion to her main post…
Abigail Spencer concluded her original post, "I've learned so much from Meg. The power of a handwritten note. The loveliness of surprise flowers. That she has a perpetual rolodex in her brain of recommendations for the heart, soul, & body. When I'm headed to a new town, there's a hotel or dinner reservation at the ready, as well as a connection with one of her friends to show me around so I feel less alone. She's been there for me – and physically held me – in my darkest hours: After my dad died. After a gut wrenching break up she brought me into her home & nursed me back to health. Soup & salad waiting in the kitchen, just, if I needed it. She's taken my son in as her own. I can't tell you the value of having another working mother I can lean on when with the pressures of visibility & child-rearing woes become overwhelming. She's always been a safe harbor for me, someone I can fall apart in front of… and with. And I have. (cont'd in comments… )."
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"The actress won't ever take down the Queen. Though she may try!" –Boy George
"this meghan markle s*** is hitting too close to home for me. these people won't stop until she miscarries. f**** stop it." —Chrissy Teigen
"What the Sussexes are doing to the Queen especially at such an incredibly worrying time for Her Majesty is utterly shameful. I cannot understand why Harry would let his wife trash his family on global TV like this, knowing how ill his grandfather has been. … I've addressed Andrew multiple times this week, as you know. But Meghan's chosen this weekend to trash her husband's family on global TV, as Philip lies in hospital. You can support that all you wish, I think it's shameful. … Meghan Markle's showbiz mates who flew over and grovelled up to the Royals at her wedding now publicly trashing the Monarchy – and suggesting it be abolished. Disgusting." –Piers Morgan
Duchess Meghan's "Suits" co-star Patrick J. Adams took to Twitter on March 5 to post a lengthy thread defending his friend and former colleague. He began, "Meghan Markle and I spent the better part of a decade working together on Suits. From day one she was an enthusiastic, kind, cooperative, giving, joyful and supportive member of our television family. She remained that person and colleague as fame, prestige and power accrued. She has always been a powerful woman with a deep sense of morality and a fierce work ethic and has never been afraid to speak up, be heard and defend herself and those she holds dear. Like the rest of the world, I have watched her navigate the last few years in astonishment. She fell in love, moved to a new country, became a household name across the entire globe and began the difficult work of trying to find her place in a family dynamic that can at best be described as complicated and at worst, seemingly archaic and toxic."
Keep reading as his message continues on the next slide…
Patrick J. Adams continued, "It sickened me to read the endless racist, slanderous, clickbaiting vitriol spewed in her direction from all manner of media across the UK and the world but I also knew that Meghan was stronger than people realized or understood and they would regret underestimating her. And then they welcomed Archie. And on any sort of decent planet that would be a time to stop sharpening the knives and let these two people enjoy the magical early months and years of starting a family. But we don't live on that planet and instead the hunt continued. It's OBSCENE that the Royal Family, who's newest member is currently GROWING INSIDE OF HER, is promoting and amplifying accusations of 'bullying' against a woman who herself was basically forced to [flee] the UK in order protect her family and her own mental health."
Read his conclusion on the next slide…
Patrick J. Adams concluded his message, "IMO, this newest chapter and it's timing is just another stunning example of the shamelessness of [an] institution that has outlived its relevance, is way overdrawn on credibility and apparently bankrupt of decency. Find someone else to admonish, berate and torment. My friend Meghan is way out of your league."
"I have known Meghan for 17 years. Here's what she is: kind, strong, open. Here's what she's not: 'a bully'. ANY of us who know her, feel the same thing from her broken silence: Relief. The truth shall set you free." –actress Janina Gavankar
"I don't want to hear about any investigations that don't involve Prince Andrew, coming out of the palace, and his connection to Jeffrey Epstein and his [alleged] actions with young girls and women [which Andrew has denied]. The fact that there's silence there is also tacit consent … until they investigate Prince Andrew, I don't want to hear about it." –"The View" co-host Sara Haines
"I just hate squabbling in public, I really hate it actually. It sort of destroys everybody and everything, and it makes everybody watching take sides and argue with each other, and become hateful. It spreads hatefulness, I really don't like it. I'm not rubbing my hands, I won't watch the interview. I can't do it," "Absolutely Fabulous" star Joanna Lumley said on "The Last Leg," as reported by the Mirror. "…I don't like this because it's divisive and it upsets everybody. Now is the time when we should all be just being calm down, and made happy, and it seems to be stirring up a lot of hatred."
"'Because she isn't self centered, people can see the light in her. Because she does not boast of herself, she becomes a shining example. Because she does not glorify herself, she becomes a person of merit. Because she wants nothing from the world, the world cannot overcome her.' -Tao Te Ching-*Lao Tzu 👊🏼❤️ #taoism" –makeup artist and friend Daniel Martin, on Instagram
Megyn Kelly tweeted, "It's so hard to be Royals, live in a castle, have a huge staff and your every need taken care of by British taxpayers, only to toss it all for hundreds of millions in the US for (doing what exactly?) and life in a $14m mansion. My heart breaks for them!" Tennis great Chris Evert responded on Twitter with this message — "There is no price for freedom… " — to which Megyn replied, "Right, that's why most of us wouldn't have given up our country, family, job & religion just to marry a prince. Now, all she does is play the victim bc – poor gal- she wasn't allowed to control her media access while living in the Queen's palaces. The horror!"
"My timeline is very pro Meghan Markle which I love. But I just scrolled some of the comments on a news site's post & it was almost shocking that people hate her so much. I worry about people's sanity who can attach so much hate to someone they dont know." –Chrishell Stause
"I don't know that anyone has ever had to deal with the pressure, the politics and the press like this woman. In the face of it all, I have never seen her waver from kindness, empathy and love." –Jessica Mulroney, on Instagram
Gabrielle Union posted a "Sure, Jan" "Brady Bunch" meme in response to a tweet from London's The Times newspaper that read, "Exclusive: Royal aides have hit back at the Duchess of Sussex before her television interview with Oprah Winfrey, revealing that she faced a bullying complaint made by one of her closest advisers during her time at Kensington Palace." Gabrielle also retweeted posts from writer Roxane Gay that read, "Those British papers really cannot tolerate that Prince Harry loves a black woman. He was right to leave. I don't even think it was a hard decision. They will never ever stop trying to tear Meghan apart. It's absolutely grotesque. And for his family to question that decision, and do all these passive aggressive things to try and get ahead of the Oprah interview. To punish him for protecting his wife and babies. Smh. It's a shame. I know they are fine but I feel for them nonetheless."
"[These claims are] coming out right now because there's a big Oprah interview coming out that's probably going to make the palace look really bad. … [Why are these claims] more important than Prince Adrew allegedly having sex with minors on Jeffrey Epstein's pedophile island? 'Cause that seems like a way bigger problem for you guys. And instead you're focusing on her and I think we can't ignore the elephant it the room — that there's probably a racial angle to this. There's a lot of racism directed at this woman in a lot of different ways. She threatens a lot of people in the patriarchy in lots of different areas and it just looks like they are bullying her in the press." –"The View" co-host Meghan McCain
"So lemme just get this straight. The palace were fine with all of Meghan's 'bullying' for years and years until a few days before they fear she may out them publicly. Seems like a legit claim. Maybe Andrew didn't go to [Pedophile] island with Epstein, maybe it was MEGHAN DRESSED AS HIM! … IF THIS IS WHAT THE ROYAL FAMILY IS COMFORTABLE DOING TO A HEAVILY PREGNANT WOMAN PUBLICLY…. can we even IMAGINE what they put her through privately? They seem terrified. Her interview hasn't even aired yet. What are they covering up? The stench of their desperation is rotten." –Jameela Jamil
"Meg's M.O. has always been kindness; goodwill runs in her bones. I know this to be true after 22 years of very close friendship. I have seen firsthand how she treats her friends and their families, and her colleagues. If she's driving with you in the passenger seat, she will fling her right arm in front of you at the slightest bump in a gesture of love to ensure your safety. If you have a specific goal, she will help you get there, and your passions will become hers on your behalf. If you ever have the pleasure of meeting Meg – and I hope more of you do – you will see the altruistic, magnanimous friend who I am so lucky to have in my corner. She's funny. Like, laugh out loud funny. And smart. She's more than just a cover story. She was this woman when we were students together at Northwestern University; she was this woman in Los Angeles when her days were spent auditioning; she was this woman living in Toronto as Rachel Zane on 'Suits;' she was this woman before you knew she was dating Harry; she was this woman after you knew was dating Harry; she was this woman when she became Duchess of Sussex and she is still – without a doubt – this very same woman today." –TV producer and author Lindsay Roth, Meghan's friend since they were college students at Northwestern, on Instagram
"Do y'all find yourselves getting mad as HELL every time they talk sideways about the Duchess Meghan?" –Chance The Rapper
"It's like this young woman vs. this family that goes back to Henry VIII … you've got to tow the line. Look what happened to Diana, same thing, same thing They do not like it when you go up against them. And as far as Andrew — who is really a pervert — is concerned, he is their boy. This girl is not blood … there's a lot of [garbage] coming out of the British tabloids and the royal family is not counteracting that, which is basically tacit approval, in my opinion." –"The View" co-host Joy Behar
"I'm with Meghan." –Holly Marie Combs
"This is Meg. A real person- not a cover story. She is one of my very nearest and dearest. Like all her friends I love her madly. She is the friend who insists on always hearing the details of your life, your day, your kids life, your kids' day, before hers. Always before hers. The friend who stocks her house full of all your very favourite things when you visit and pretends she already had them-just because she wants the moment to be about you, not her. It's always that way with her friends- us before her. When you move to a new city she creates a book of all the special things that city can give you- all the little secrets it offers over to you so you'll feel less homesick. She leaves it on your doorstep so you have it when you wake up. On her wedding day she checks in on me in the morning. It's her day, the world is standing by, it's a lot-but she wants the day to be special for me. 'You've come such a long way' she says 'Are you jet lagged?' she says 'I made you a playlist to listen to while you get ready.' When my son was going through a scary, complicated diagnosis, she is the friend who stopped everything and helped map out, step by step, how we would navigate things. She called all the people, all the places when I was too paralyzed to form a plan. She's the friend who shares her all of her secrets with you, because despite having so many reasons to put walls up, her heart remains as wide open as it always has been. This is Meg before she met H. This is Meg now. She's always been this person. She's not a headline. She's my friend. I love her." –TV director Silver Tree
"Man, I can't with these racist little royal birds out here coming for Meghan Markle from the shadows. Miss me with this birdseed. Where is Arya Stark when you need her." –Aisha Tyler
"I think they are that concerned — The Firm, the palace, the family, the royal family — they are that concerned about that Oprah interview to dredge up some allegations from two and a half years ago that she allegedly bullied the staff. … I'm really shocked that rather than trying to mend this rift, rather than supporting Meghan and Harry, who I think removed his wife and his family from England because of the terrible racial hatred she was subjected to, and he didn't want history to repeat itself after what happened to his mother with the media, I'm just surprised that they haven't tried to even apologize for not protecting her more and instead do this. It says a lot, I think, about the workings of the royal family." –"The View" co-host Sunny Hostin
"It's also possible the Duchess of Sussex is a good person thrust into an unimaginable world. Having spent 3 years working with her in her pre-Duchess days, I saw a warm, kind, caring person. I know nothing of her current situation but she gets the benefit of the doubt in my book." –Jon Cowan, a former writer on TV shows including "Suits," "Private Practice," "Crossing Jordan" and more
"I worked on a set in Toronto when Meghan was on 'Suits.' The ADs, PAs, and other crew on my show who had also worked with her loved her. LOVED. Set dynamics being what they are… I do not believe this bullying narrative for a microsecond." –Angela Harvey, a TV writer on shows including "Station 19," "Teen Wolf" and more