Who Is The Royal Adviser Behind The Meghan Markle Bullying Claims?

With Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's highly anticipated interview with Oprah Winfrey quickly approaching, they've been making headline after headline. But while the pair, who officially stepped away from the royal family in February 2021 after announcing their departure in January 2020, may be thrilled to tell their story, not every report has been flattering.

According to a report by The Times, Meghan has been accused of being a bully to her palace aides. In emails allegedly sent to Prince William in 2018 obtained by the outlet, former communications secretary Jason Knauf claimed Meghan was a tyrant to her staff. "I am very concerned the duchess was able to bully two PAs out of the household in the past year ... The duchess seems intent on always having someone in her sights," the email read, per Vanity Fair. The outlet also reported Harry "pleaded" with Knauf to not go ahead with the allegations. The duke and duchess have denied the claim and the palace has launched an investigation into such. 

"Let's just call this what it is — a calculated smear campaign based on misleading and harmful misinformation," Meghan's lawyer said in a statement. "It's no coincidence that distorted several-year-old accusations aimed at undermining the duchess are being briefed to the British media shortly before she and the duke are due to speak openly and honestly about their experience of recent years."

But aside from the drama caused, who is this Jason Knauf anyways? Keep scrolling for more details.

Jason Knauf was once Meghan and Harry's ally

The bullying claims from palace insider, Jason Knauf, come as a shock to those close to the monarchy. Originally from Texas, Knauf left his life in the South behind and moved to England where he worked for the Royal Bank of Scotland and British Treasury. Prior to that, he worked as press secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand, according to the New York Post. However, his relationship with the royal family didn't start until he was welcomed to Kensington Palace in 2015.

With his job title described as a "well-connected courtier," Knauf earned the trust of the royals and became a great ally to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. In fact, Meghan allegedly had called on Knauf for help writing letters to her family. He even attended the couple's wedding in 2018 and later became the duchess' own press secretary.

However, it was just months after the pair's nuptials when Knauf sent the shocking email and soon after resigned from his position. Despite stepping away after blowing the whistle, he started working for the palace again in March 2020, this time as chief executive of the Cambridges' Royal Foundation.

While it may seem like Knauf is out to get Meghan and Harry, he previously defended the former actress in 2016 by releasing a statement on the prince's behalf following scrutiny from the British media. There is no telling what tea this palace insider will spill.