On March 7, after the Duchess of Sussex's tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey aired, the tennis star took to social media to support her longtime pal. "Meghan Markle, my selfless friend, lives her life - and leads by example- with empathy and compassion," Serena, mom to 3-year-old Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., began her message. "She teaches me every day what it means to be truly noble. Her words illustrate the pain and cruelty she's experienced."
She went on to say she can relate to what Meghan, expecting a baby girl with Prince Harry this summer, has been through. "I know first hand the sexism and racism institutions and the media use to vilify women and people of color to minimize us, to break us down and demonize us," Serena wrote. "We must recognize our obligation to decry malicious, unfounded gossip and tabloid journalism. The mental health consequences of systemic oppression and victimization are devastating, isolating and all too often lethal."
Now, she hopes their tell-all causes positive change. "I want Meghan's daughter, my daughter and your daughter to live in a society that is driver by respect," she concluded. "Keep in your memory the fruitage of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, mildness, self-control. Against such things there is no law."
Among the details Meghan addressed during her time with Oprah was the racism she's endured and the relationship the royals have with the British press. "See, I think there's a reason that these tabloids have holiday parties at the palace," she noted. "They're hosted by the palace, the tabloids are. You know, there is a construct that's at play there. And because, from the beginning of our relationship, they were so attacking and inciting so much racism, really, it changed…the risk level, because it wasn't just catty gossip. It was bringing out a part of people that was racist in how it was charged."
"And that changed the threat," Archie Harrison's mom added. "That changed the level of death threats. That changed everything."
Meghan also shared that, while experiencing "suicidal thoughts" as a working senior royal, she sought help from the institution but was offered none. "I was ashamed to say it at the time and ashamed to have to admit it to Harry, especially because I know how much loss he's suffered," she told Oprah. "But I knew that if I didn't say it, then I would do it. I just didn't want to be alive anymore. That was clear and real and frightening and constant thought."
"I remember how he just cradled me. And I went to the institution, and I said that I needed to go somewhere to get help," Meghan recalled. "I said that, 'I've never felt this way before, and I need to go somewhere.' And I was told that I couldn't, that it wouldn't be good for the institution."