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Harry And Meghan Oprah Interview: Serena Williams Posts Letter In Support Of Her 'Brave' Friend

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Harry And Meghan Oprah Interview: Serena Williams Posts Letter In Support Of Her 'Brave' Friend

Meghan Markle's friend, tennis pro Serena Williams, has spoken out in support of her following her groundbreaking interview with Oprah Winfrey.

The Duchess of Sussex spoke to the talk show host about a variety of topics during a two hour CBS interview - which aired in the US this morning - including the vitriol she'd faced from the media, life within "the institution" of the Royal Family and tragic details of her mental health battle, and suicidal thoughts.

And Serena is just one of the former Suits actress' friends to voice her support since the chat aired on screens.

"Megan Markle, my selfless friend, lives her life - and leads by example - with empathy and compassion. She teaches me every day what it means to be truly noble," Serena wrote in a letter, which she shared with her fans.

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"Her words illustrate the pain and cruelty she's experienced."

Serena Williams voiced her support for Meghan (Credit: PA/ CBS)
Serena Williams voiced her support for Meghan (Credit: PA/ CBS)

She went on: "I know first-hand the sexism and racism institutions and the media use to vilify women and people of colour to minimise us, to break us down and demonise us.

"We must recognise our obligation to decry malicious, unfounded gossip and tabloid journalism.

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"The mental health consequences of systemic oppression and victimisation are devastating, isolating and all often too lethal."

Later in the statement, Serena spoke of Meghan's unborn child, adding: "I want Meghan's daughter, my daughter and your daughter to live in a society that is driven by respect.

"Keep in your memory the fruitage of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness, self-control. Against such things there is no law."

Meghan Markle talks to Oprah during the special (Credit: CBS)
Meghan Markle talks to Oprah during the special (Credit: CBS)
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Serena captioned her post to Meghan addressing her directly.

"I am so proud of you for being so brave," she wrote. "I know it is never easy. You are strong - both you and Harry. I love you. I adore you. Your friend S".

It comes after the Duchess broached some painful topics in her interview with Oprah, including 'concerns' the royals allegedly had about her son, Archie's skin colour and the control she and Prince Harry felt they were under, on a daily basis.

"Look, I was really ashamed to have to say [I was suicidal] at the time and ashamed to have to admit it to Harry especially, but I knew that if I didn't say that I would do it.

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"I just didn't want to be alive anymore," she reflected during the televised conversation.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle discuss leaving the Royal Family (Credit: CBS)
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle discuss leaving the Royal Family (Credit: CBS)

"It takes so much courage to admit you need help," she added, "to admit how dark of a place you're in."

When asked by Oprah just how close she got to taking her life, Meghan responded that her suicidal thoughts were "real and frightening", adding that at points she couldn't be left alone.

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She harrowingly explained that when she asked if she could obtain mental health support she was told that she couldn't.

"I went to one of the most senior people to get help. I share this because there are so many people who are afraid to voice that they need help, and I know personally how hard it is to not just voice it, but when you voice it... [to hear someone say] no," Meghan said.

Revealing she even spoke to the palace's HR team, she recalled: "I remember this conversation like it was yesterday, they said, 'my heart goes out to you because I can see how bad it is, but theres nothing we can do for you because you're not a paid member of the institution'."

"[Going to a hospital] is what I was asking to do," she said. "You can't just do that, I couldn't call an Uber to the palace, you couldn't just go.

Prince Harry and Meghan said they felt 'trapped' in the 'institution' (Credit: PA)
Prince Harry and Meghan said they felt 'trapped' in the 'institution' (Credit: PA)

"You have to understand...that was the last time I saw my passport, my drivers license, my keys. All that gets turned over."

It was when she was denied the help she so desperately needed by the 'institution' that she and Harry decided to leave, she explained.

Meghan added that while she is thankfully in a better place now, she is speaking out to show people that "there is another side and that life is worth living".

The interview aired in the early hours of this morning in the US on CBS, and is set to be shown here in the UK tonight at 9pm on ITV.

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: News, Celebrity News, TV News, Oprah Winfrey, Prince Harry, Royals, Meghan Markle

Joanna Freedman
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