MEGHAN Markle's childhood sweetheart has denied she's a bully and insisted she's had to make "hard decisions".
Joshua Silverstein was the Duchess of Sussex's first kiss when she was just 13 – with the now LA actor defending the 39-year-old in the wake of claims she bullied staff at Buckingham Palace.
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The palace announced an investigation would take place after claims emerged Meghan "humiliated" staff.
A letter written by press secretary Jason Knauf was leaked to the Times, stating he was "concerned" that the "Duchess was able to bully two PAs out of the household in the past year. The treatment of (omitted) was totally unacceptable."
But Meghan's former childhood boyfriend Joshua told US Weekly he couldn't "personally see her" mistreating staffers.
He said: "I see her doing whatever it is she feels like she should do in order to be happy and coexist within a system that has probably not been very welcoming to who she is and where she comes from."
Mr Silverstein, who dated Meghan during a summer as a young teen, added: "She's probably having to make hard decisions and uncomfortable ones for the sake of just being able to smile the next day.
"That's what life is about — making tough decisions so that you can live the life that allows you to thrive as the person you want to thrive as."
The Braid Theater performance artist said he believed Meghan had faced a system "that has probably not been very welcoming to who she is and where she comes from."
Buckingham Palace reportedly decided to bring in a third-party law firm to conduct the investigation into bullying claims made by both current and former Royal aides.
The allegations came to light when an email from the Sussexes former press secretary sent in October 2018 was leaked to The Times newspaper.
Jason Knauf said: "I am very concerned that the Duchess was able to bully two PAs out of the household in the past year. The treatment of (omitted) was totally unacceptable.
"The Duchess seems intent on always having someone in her sights. She is bullying (omitted) and seeking to undermine her confidence.
"We have had report after report from people who have witnessed unacceptable behaviour towards (omitted)."
It was forwarded onto Prince Williams's private secretary Simon Case after Knauf had discussed the matter with the Palace's head of HR, Samantha Carruthers.
Two senior members of staff came forward in February this year, alleging that they had been bullied by Meghan.
One former employee claimed they were personally "humiliated" by the 39-year-old, while two other employees were bullied by her.
Meghan has continuously denied the claims and is believed to have written to the Palace to request her and Harry's involvement in the inquiry.
However, the Sussexes are not expected to be included in the examination – that Royal officials are keen to keep under wraps.
Insiders claim they are determined it should "not be played out in public" to ensure all those involved can "feel comfortable".
A Palace spokesman said: "Our commitment to look into the circumstances around the allegations from former staff of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex is being taken forward but we will not be providing a public commentary on it."
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