Meghan Markle news latest – Lawyer claims bullying story is 'absolutely untrue' & Piers Morgan has 'unpleasant surprise'

MEGHAN Markle's lawyer Jenny Afia insisted claims that the duchess "traumatised" Palace staff are "absolutely untrue" – and the term bullying is used "very casually".

Jenny was speaking to BBC journalist Amol Rajan on podcast Harry, Meghan and the Media, and said: "What bullying actually means is improperly using power repeatedly and deliberately to hurt someone, physically or emotionally.

"I wasn't there at the time but it doesn't match my experience of her at all and I've seen her at very, very stressful times.

"So that story is absolutely untrue that she is a bully."

The news comes as Piers Morgan launches his new, no-holds-barred column in The Sun next week and, naturally, promises to have the last word on the mouthy Duchess of Sussex.

He says: “The column is called Uncensored because it does what it says on the tin.

“Pushy little Princess Pinocchio tried her utmost to cancel me, and she will be in for a very unpleasant surprise when I emerge, like Lazarus, from my den."

Read our Meghan Markle live blog for the latest news and gossip

  • Louis Allwood

    Low key celebrations

    KATE Middleton is planning a "much lower key" 40th birthday than Meghan Markle's celebrations, it has been claimed.

    The Duchess of Sussex famously held a '40 x 40' event to mark her birthday last August, inviting dozens of her closest friends to offer 40 minutes of their time to offer advice on returning to work after the coronavirus lockdown.

    But Kate Middleton is reportedly keen that her own 40th birthday celebrations next week are considerably less high profile, aware that seeking attention like Meghan would be an unpopular move at this difficult time.

    Royal expert Jonathan Sacedoti told the Royally US podcast "I may get a bit of grief for this, but we saw how Meghan conducted herself for her 40th and we can wonder whether or not Catherine is going to be doing the same thing."

    "I don't think we will be seeing anything similar from Princess Catherine… I think that we will be seeing something a lot lower key, is what we have been told."

  • Louis Allwood

    Chalet for sale

    PRINCE Andrew is trying to sell his Swiss Chalet to help fund the cost of his sex abuse case.

    The Duke of York has reportedly settled on a price with a buyer for his Verbier home believed to be in excess of £17million.

    The money he is left with could be used to fund his US lawyers or even offer a settlement to sex abuse accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre.

    A source revealed to The Mirror: “It is crunch time for Andrew on several fronts.

    “He is meeting all the costs himself so he needs to raise cash fast to pay bills which are increasing by the day.

    “If there was the potential to settle, well, that is an option, but it is in no doubt that the Queen would not assist him in doing so.”

  • Louis Allwood

    Kate Middleton has evolved as a ‘relatable mum’

    KATE MIDDLETON turns 40 this weekend so here we take a look back at how she has evolved over the years.

    It goes without saying that we all love Kate and body language expert Darren Stanton has revealed why.

    Behavioural expert Darren has analysed how the Duchess of Cambridge has changed over the years and reveals that she has evolved into a ‘relatable mum’, displaying ‘similarities to Princess Diana’. 

    Speaking on behalf of Be My Bet, Darren also reveals that from her transparent approach to parenting and her genuine nature, Kate’s maternal side has evolved since becoming a mother and she has grown in 'confidence' as an established Royal over the past decade. 

    Darren said: “Kate Middleton has been a very permanent member of the Royal family since she first began dating Prince William nearly 15 years ago and as she approaches her 40th birthday, it’s clear to see how her style has evolved over the years as she’s established herself as a royal.”

  • Louis Allwood

    ‘Fresh bid to get Virginia Robert’s rape claim thrown out’

    PRINCE Andrew’s lawyers are to launch a fresh bid to get the lawsuit against him dismissed, it was reported.

    Accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre said she is unlikely to accept a pay off and the Duke is currently waiting on tenterhooks for a judge to decide whether her civil lawsuit will be ditched.

    If it goes ahead, Andrew will face a full civil trial in New York over claims he sexually abused Ms Giuffre on three occasions in 2001 when she was 17.

    Andrew has always strongly denied all allegations made against him.

    His lawyers now reportedly believe they can stop the case as federal law explicitly bans two parties who are not US residents facing each other in court.

    “They believe they have a genuine argument to get this thrown out," a source told The Mirror.

    "If they can prove under federal law where Ms Giuffre has filed her case, that there is precedent not to bring a case where both parties are not US residents, then it should be halted immediately.”

    Insiders have claimed Andrew could settle the lawsuit out of court if it goes to trial, with his lawyers keeping the settlement option "on the table" due to the negative impact a court case could have on other senior royals.

  • John Hall

    ‘I am haunted by photo of Prince Andrew’

    VIRGINIA Roberts’ ex-boyfriend has said he is haunted by the photo that appears to show Prince Andrew with his arm around her waist.

    Anthony Figueroa was dating Virginia at the time when she was groomed by Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein.

    He blames the royal for the breakdown of their relationship – saying Virginia was “different” whenever she returned from the three alleged sexual encounters she had with him.

    Andrew categorically denies all claims against him – and says he has no memory of meeting Virginia.

    The Duke of York was pictured with Virginia on the same night he allegedly first abused her after she had been trafficked to him at Maxwell’s house in London.

    However, he has offered a number of explanations over the snap – which was allegedly taken by Epstein – including that it has been doctored.

  • John Hall

    Princess Charlotte ‘isn’t allowed’ a best friend at her school

    PRINCESS Charlotte is now in Year 2 at school – but she isn't allowed to have a best friend there, it has been claimed.

    The young royal started Thomas’s Battersea in 2019 and was dropped off by Kate Middleton, Prince William, and big brother Prince George, who is also a pupil at the school.

    Speaking on Loose Women, Jane Moore shared some of her insider knowledge of the exclusive prep school – and its rules.

    She said: "It's a really great little school actually for the reasons I think that it really focuses on kindness, it's a really big thing in that school and the pastoral care is amazing.

    "There's a policy that if your child is having a party, unless every child in the class is invited you don’t give out the invites in class, which I think is quite a good thing as you don’t feel excluded.

    "There are signs everywhere saying be kind, that’s the ethos of the school. They don’t encourage you to have best friends."

  • John Hall

    Royal round up

    • Ghislaine Maxwell demands dead paedo pal Epstein cover £5million court costs after being found guilty of sex trafficking
    • Ghislaine Maxwell will NOT name names or cut deal to reduce 65-year jail term for sex trafficking, her brother says
    • Prince Andrew rocked by claims he could be stripped of his Duke of York title if he loses sex abuse lawsuit
    • The Queen’s New Year photo convinced Prince Harry and Meghan Markle that royals were ‘against them’, royal author claims
    • Meghan Markle will ‘create shockwaves’ that will ‘jangle the royal family’ in 2022 says Princess Diana’s astrologer

    Will Queen's jubilee be a bank holiday?

    Yes, in November 2020, Oliver Dowden announced “a four-day Bank Holiday weekend to celebrate The Queen’s 70-year reign”.

    The May Bank Holiday Weekend will be moved to Thursday, June 2, 2022.

    An additional Bank Holiday will take place on Friday, June 3, 2022.

    It means there will be a four-day weekend to celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

    Meghan Markle and Prince Harry ‘want to sell £11m mansion after just 18 months 

    MEGHAN Markle and Prince Harry already want to sell their US home as they are not “over the moon” over the £11m lavish mansion, it is claimed.

    The couple have been living in the sprawling, nine-bedroom Montecito home for around 18 months.

    But a source claims Meghan and Harry are now showing interest in other houses and are open to private offers.

    The insider told the Mirror: “They are thinking of selling their house there.

    “However, it won’t be on the market because of who they are. It’s only being shown to people who are confirmed with funds and are serious buyers.”

    • John Hall

      Prince Charles message praising sons

      In a letter, Prince Charles mentioned Harry and Prince William that he wrote to urge older generations to take meaningful action to tackle the climate crisis.

      Writing for Newsweek, he said: “As a father, I am proud that my sons have recognised this threat.

      “Most recently, my elder son, William, launched the prestigious Earthshot Prize to incentivise change and help repair our planet over the next ten years by identifying and investing in the technologies that can make a difference.

      “And my younger son, Harry, has passionately highlighted the impact of climate change, especially in relation to Africa, and committed his charity to being net zero.”

    • John Hall

      Meghan to receive tiny figure

      Meghan, 40, agreed to accept nominal damages from the Mail on Sunday.

      Last month, the newspaper was ruled to have invaded her privacy by publishing a 2018 letter the duchess sent to her dad Thomas Markle.

      Associated Newspapers will also pay a sum for infringing copyright and a large part of Meghan’s £1.5million costs.

      In March, the High Court ruled in her favour after she sued.

      The Court of Appeal then rejected a bid by Associated to have the verdict overturned.

    • John Hall

      Royal expert slams Harry’s decision to release book

      Royal expert Phil Dampier had previously blasted Harry’s decision to release the book then as “disrespectful”.

      “If Harry had any intention to patch things up, he would appreciate that the year should be really concentrated on the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee,” he said.

      “To release his book in the same year as that is disrespectful.

      “The timing couldn’t be worse.”

      However, we exclusively revealed that Harry could DELAY the book after Prince Charles offered an olive branch.

    • Louis Allwood

      How will the Queen spend her Jubilee?

      The national Jubilee festivities are taking place in June over a four-day holiday weekend.

      But the Queen is actually set to pass the milestone on February 6 – the anniversary of the death of her father King George VI in 1952.

      The Queen usually spends her accession day privately at Sandringham, but it is possible she may be seen at church, or carry out a local engagement in Norfolk as she has done in the past on milestone jubilees.

      The royal extravaganza from June 2-5 – with an extra Bank Holiday – includes Trooping the Colour, a service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral, a visit to the Epsom Derby, a live concert at Buckingham Palace, and street parties and picnics.

      A Platinum Jubilee Pageant will also be staged on June 5 against the backdrop of the Palace and along The Mall in central London, and combine street arts, theatre, music, circus, carnival and costume.

      But how much the public will see of the Queen during the celebrations has not yet been confirmed by Buckingham Palace.

    • Louis Allwood

      'I didn’t know who on Earth she was'

      The Sun’s Royal Photographer tells the remarkable inside story of how he watched through his lens as shy art student Kate Middleton transformed into our future Queen.

      “The first time I took a photograph of Kate Middleton, I didn’t know who on Earth she was.

      “Prince William had invited a group of his friends from university to Sandringham for the weekend.

      “It was only when I was looking through some old photographs recently that I spotted Kate among William’s pals.

      “And you would not recognise her.

      “Back then you would never have credited that the young woman who walked through those gates would turn out to be our future queen.

      “Kate is now the ultimate media star.”

    • Louis Allwood

      Will Meghan return?

      Meghan hasn’t flown back to the UK since Megxit. She was pregnant when the service for Prince Philip took place, and decided not to return on the advice of her doctors.

      The Queen has also not yet had the chance to meet great-granddaughter Lilibet, who was named after her. The tot was born last June.

      However, despite the couple’s now-notorious interview with Oprah Winfrey last March – during which they claimed a member of the family had made a racist remark – Royal expert Neil Sean said they may still get an invitation to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee this year.

      “What I’m suspecting is there will be some kind of banquet, perhaps low-key, that they possibly could get invited to,” he said.

      “What we do know, however, is their diaries are remaining free.”

    • Louis Allwood

      Who is the lawyer representing Prince Andrew?

      The Duke of York’s attorney Andrew Brettler will present his motion to dismiss Virginia Giuffre’s sex assault civil lawsuit.

      Mr Brettler is a notable Hollywood lawyer and senior partner with Lavely & Singer, who has previously represented several celebrities accused of sexual assault.

      These include actor Armie Hammer, and singer-songwriter Ryan Adams.

    • Louis Allwood

      Royal round up

      In more Royal Family news, Prince William shared the most ‘difficult’ part of Royal’s annual Christmas church trip.

      And you can be the Queen’s gardener at Windsor Castle – and you’ll get paid £19,500 for it.

      Plus Prince William kept touching promise to Kate Middleton with family’s Christmas card photo.

    • Louis Allwood

      'The sister he never had'

      The Duchess of Cambridge worked closely with the Duke of Sussex while he was a working royal, teaming up on a number of projects.

      Harry famously described Kate as “the sister he never had” and together with Prince William and Meghan Markle, they were known as the Fab Four.

      But the group’s relationship appeared to breakdown when Harry and Meghan quit royal life- and their friendship is now said to be “long in the past”.

      Speaking to OK! Magazine, Royal commentator Duncan Larcombe said: “Kate was, as Harry said, the sister he never had and clearly that is not the case any more.

      “There was a time when Harry would have been instrumental in any celebrations or any fun that the couple were having, but those days are long in the past.”

      It comes ahead of Kate’s 40th birthday on January 9, expected to be a “low key” event.

      And with Harry thousands of miles away in California, it’s unlikely he will be heavily involved.

    • Louis Allwood

      Meghan Markle’s lawyer makes ‘bullying’ comparison

      Jenny Afia insisted claims that the duchess "traumatised" Palace staff are "absolutely untrue" – and the term bullying is used "very casually".

      Meghan, 40, was accused of driving two personal assistants out of the royal household due to her "totally unacceptable" behaviour.

      Staff were said to be left in tears and feeling "humiliated" by her actions, and claimed she "governed by fear" and snapped: "It's not my job to coddle people."

      The allegations sparked an internal investigation, but the duchess has repeatedly denied the claims.

      And her solicitor has reiterated that the Meghan she knows is not a bully.

      Speaking with permission from the actress-turned-royal, Ms Afia, from libel law firm Schillings, said: "I think the first thing is to be really clear about what bullying is because the term gets used very, very casually.

      "My daughter called me a bully last week when I asked her to brush her teeth – she's seven years old.

      "So the term is used very freely and it's a very, very damaging term as we know, particularly I think for career women."

    • Louis Allwood

      Cambridges use a cunning trick to make sure the public can’t see into their home

      Kate Middleton and Prince William live at Kensington Palace where they have their own quarters and gardens.

      Some parts of the historical building are open to the public for guided tours and they even occasionally host ticketed events in the garden.

      But despite throwing open the doors of the Palace, not every space is available for exploring, the public are, of course, not allowed into the Cambridge's private areas, which are in Apartment 1A.

      On a recent tour of the Palace, one TikToker discovered the sneaky way that the royal family keep the public at bay and stop them from peering into their exclusive gardens.

      TikToker Laura-Ann Bar, who posts on the platform with the handle @allthatspretty, uploaded a short clip revealing the couple's savvy tactic.

      She said: "I'm at the Kensington Palace tour!

      “Look at the secret windows they have that make sure you can’t see into Kate & Will’s private garden to the right! They have it on all the windows in this room.”

      She then showed that as you approach the glass of the window you can see that a small strip to the right is frosted over, preventing guests from craning their heads round to see their royal's personal space.

    • Louis Allwood

      Virginia Roberts ‘unlikely to accept £3.7m pay off’

      The Duke is currently waiting on tenterhooks for a judge to decide whether Ms Giuffre's civil lawsuit will be ditched.

      If it goes ahead, Andrew will face a full civil trial in New York over claims he sexually abused Ms Giuffre on three occasions in 2001 when she was 17.

      Andrew has always strongly denied all allegations made against him.

      Insiders have claimed Andrew could settle the lawsuit out of court if it goes to trial, with his lawyers keeping the settlement option "on the table" due to the negative impact a court case could have on other senior royals.

      It’s thought that the Duke could have to pay out more than $5million (£3.7million) to persuade her to settle.

      However, according to The Telegraph, Ms Giuffre is unlikely to accept any financial settlement at all – because she wants to send a message that anyone accused of preying on young girls will face the full force of the law.

      The newspaper claims that she would not want to “advance the message” that money makes sexual assault go away.

    • Louis Allwood

      Could Andrew settle?

      PRINCE Andrew could still try to settle with sex abuse accuser Virginia Giuffre if his sex abuse trial is sent to court, it has been claimed.

      The Duke of York's fate hangs in the balance as a judge deliberates whether to throw out Virginia Roberts' bombshell lawsuit against him.

      Andrew is said to be so desperate for the case not to go to trial that he is still considering trying to work out a massive financial settlement that could convince Virginia to drop the civil case, according to The Times.

      The newspaper says it understands there have been no conversations between the sides as yet, but says the fact it is even being considered as an option suggests Andrew's team will reach out with an offer before the case comes to court.

    • Louis Allwood

      Ghislaine Maxwell’s guilty verdict is the final nail in the coffin for Prince Andrew (Continued…)

      This is a comment piece by Ingrid Seward

      The Queen is limited as to what she can do for him. She can support him financially, but can’t be seen to be doing so in public.

      When this all came out originally, there were pictures of her riding with Andrew, but she’s distanced herself publicly.

      However, in reality, he is up at the castle all the time, schmoozing up to her ears.

      Despite everything, Andrew still has the loyalty from his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson.

      I think the Queen really appreciates her, as Fergie really has held that family together.

      If Maxwell starts throwing names about in order to reduce her sentencing, it could prove very damning.

      In the Newsnight interview, Andrew kept referring to Maxwell as his “friend”, almost using her as a get-out-of-jail- free card.

      So her guilty verdict must be a shock for him.

      And it makes things far worse because he’s always maintained his friendship was with her, far more than with Epstein.

    • Louis Allwood

      Ghislaine Maxwell’s guilty verdict is the final nail in the coffin for Prince Andrew

      This is a comment piece by Ingrid Seward

      PRINCE Andrew has been weighed in the court of public opinion and found wanting.

      The verdict against Ghislaine ­Maxwell was enough to see to that.

      He’s now perceived as a one-time close friend with not only a convicted paedophile, but also a convicted sex trafficker.

      I think the public were shocked by the explicit revelations of the girls who gave ­evidence against Maxwell during the trial.

      They were also shocked to see the photographs taken by Andrew on his mother’s ­private property — especially the one of ­Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein relaxing at her log cabin on the Balmoral estate.

      It shows an extraordinary lack of sense and judgment and is one of the reasons it’s so damaging to the Royal Family.

      It’s arguably the final nail in the so-called coffin for Andrew.

      And it’s quite sad because there are two faces to Andrew.

      There’s the arrogant, royal face and then there is the loyal, kind face.

      And he’s not an unkind person. His stupidity just knows no bounds.

      It’s almost linked to the ­arrogance of the old-fashioned aristocracy who thought they were above the law.

    • Louis Allwood

      Judge DENIES bid to crush lawsuit because accuser ‘lives in Australia’

      Prince Andrew, 61, is facing a lawsuit filed by Virginia Roberts Giuffre who claims she was forced to have sex with him three times between 1999 and 2002 – in ­London, New York and on Jeffrey Epstein’s private Caribbean island.

      Andrew has always strongly denied all allegations made against him.

      But his legal team demanded the lawsuit be ditched as Ms Giuffre "lives in Australia and not the US".

      The 38-year-old is currently staying in Australia with husband Robert and their three children.

      Andrew's lawyers claimed questioning Ms Giuffre under oath would show she is “domiciled” in Australia instead of Colorado, as she says – and so a New York court would have no jurisdiction.

      But their bid has today been denied by Judge Lewis A. Kaplan.

      The Duke’s attorney, Andrew Brettler, said she was living in a £1million home in Perth when she filed her lawsuit and had spent less than two years in the US since moving Down Under in 2002.

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