Meghan Markle made a formal complaint to ITV following Piers Morgan’s incendiary comments about the duchess, the U.K.’s broadsheet newspapers have reported.
Both The Guardian and The Telegraph claim that a complaint was lodged on behalf of the royal after Monday’s episode of Good Morning Britain, in which Morgan repeatedly lashed out at Prince Harry and Markle over their revelations in the explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey. The growing furor over the former CNN host’s tirade, one that also saw him storm off set after being rebuked on-air by a colleague, would ultimately lead to him quitting the breakfast news show, with ITV making the announcement that he was standing down on Tuesday evening.
On another front, Markle appears to have also lodged a complaint with Ofcom, the British broadcast regulator, over Morgan’s TV comments. “Meanwhile, am told the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have now followed their complaint to ITV over Good Morning Britain with a complaint to Ofcom,” Archie Bland, a media reporter for The Guardian newspaper, said on his Twitter account on March 12.
Among Morgan’s most controversial comments was that he didn’t believe Markle’s claims that she had felt suicidal and had reached out for support from Buckingham Palace, only for the request to be rejected. Morgan’s commentary sparked widespread condemnation, including from a mental health charity, and led to more than 41,000 complaints to regulator Ofcom.
“Who did you go to? What did they say to you? I’m sorry, I don’t believe a word she said, Meghan Markle,” he said. “I wouldn’t believe it if she read me a weather report.”
Both ITV and Prince Harry and Markle’s Archewell foundation said they wouldn’t comment on the complaint, although neither denied that it was made.
ITV CEO Carolyn McCall had on Tuesday said that she believed Markle’s comments about suicidal thoughts and felt it was important to listen to people expressing such emotions.
On Wednesday morning, Morgan broke his silence following his dramatic Good Morning Britain exit and the controversy.
“On Monday, I said I didn’t believe Meghan Markle in her Oprah interview,” he tweeted. “I’ve had time to reflect on this opinion, and I still don’t. If you did, OK. Freedom of speech is a hill I’m happy to die on.”
Sky News later reported comments Morgan made to the press outside his home Wednesday morning, where he again doubled down on his feelings toward the duchess.
“I don’t believe almost anything that comes out of her mouth and I think the damage she’s done to the British monarchy and to the queen at a time when Prince Philip is lying in hospital is enormous and frankly contemptible,” he said.
“If I have to fall on my sword for expressing an honestly held opinion about Meghan Markle and that diatribe of bilge that she came out within that interview, so be it. I think it’s fair to say, although the woke crowd will think that they’ve canceled me, I think they will be rather disappointed when I reemerge.”