Why Serena Williams Decided to Publicly Defend Meghan Markle

Serena Williams is again praising her longtime friend Meghan Markle, weeks after publicly defending her following the duchess and husband Prince Harry's controversial interview with Oprah Winfrey.

By Corinne Heller Mar 25, 2021 3:44 PMTags

Serena Williams continues to voice support for her longtime friend Meghan Markle following her and husband Prince Harry's controversial tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey.

The special, which aired on CBS, marked the couple's first major TV interview since they stepped back from the monarchy last year. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who is pregnant with their second cild, spoke about their past life and struggles with the royal family. After the interview aired, Serena tweeted that Meghan "lives her life - and leads by example- with empathy and compassion," adding, "She teaches me every day what it means to be truly noble. Her words illustrate the pain and cruelty she's experienced."

Serena echoed her sentiments about Meghan during the debut episode of retailer Stuart Weitzman's Shine series, posted on YouTube on Wednesday, March 24. "Meghan is a great person and I think the epitome of strength, the epitome of confidence, the epitome of just selflessness," she said. "And I know it's not easy—and you could see from the interview that it wasn't easy—but she had so much poise and she still had so much...just so much class."

Meghan Markle's Pregnancy Style

The tennis star added, "I just think that she is really...the strongest person I know. I don't know anyone else that could handle everything on such a global scale the way that she's had to handle things that are just untrue, minute after minute, not even day after day, but just minute after minute, just another untrue allegation being thrown at her. So I think it was important for me to say something because I'm tired of sitting back and seeing all this negativity that's just not true."

During Meghan and Harry's tell-all interview with Oprah, the duchess responded to past negative tabloid reports about herself. She also revealed that she was so unhappy as a royal that she considered suicide or self harm and received no help when she asked for it, and both she and Harry alleged that a royal family member, who they did not identify, had expressed "concerns and conversations about how dark" their future child's "skin might be when he's born." The couple are parents to 22-month-old son Archie Harrison and are currently expecting a baby girl.

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Two days after the special aired, Queen Elizabeth II said in a statement, "The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan. The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning. While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately. Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved family members."

Harry's brother Prince William also told a reporter, "We are very much not a racist family."


"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 on Twitter after the interview aired. "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."

Serena, who shares 3-year-old daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian, Jr. with husband Alexis Ohanian, continued, "I want Meghan's daughter, my daughter and your daughter to live in a society that is driven by respect."