But here a problem enters: apart from the usual tactic of doling out abuse, and pleading for the Haz ’n’ Meg Oprah special to be postponed because Phil The Greek is in hospital (if he pegs out soon after the broadcast, the press will blame the Sussexes, not the fact that he’s in his hundredth year), there was no actual word from the rest of the Royals. Until today.
It was the Murdoch Times that splashed the apparent Royal retaliation across the front page, proclaiming “Royal aides reveal Meghan bullying claim before interview”, and going on to tell “Royal sources have hit back at the Duchess of Sussex before her television interview with Oprah Winfrey by revealing that she faced a bullying complaint made by one of her closest advisors during her time at Kensington Palace”. And there is more.
“The sources approached The Times because they felt that only a partial version had emerged of Meghan’s two years as a working member of the Royal Family and they wished to tell their side, concerned about how such matters are handled by the Palace. The complaint … was made in October 2018 by Jason Knauf, the couple’s communications secretary at the time”. So who might the sources be?
We did not have to wait long for someone who should know better to shoot his mouth off: step forward the singularly unpleasant Dan Wootton, former “Executive Editor” at the Sun, although soon to jump ship to GB News. “Genuine bombshell from The Times tomorrow revealing the full details of bullying claims against Meghan during her time at Kensington Palace. This email was sent by Jason Knauf, the couple’s then communications secretary”.
Emboldened by the moment, Wootton added “I first reported in December 2018 the serious concerns Kate had about the way Meghan was treating staff. This story was furiously denied at the time by Meghan’s team, but we decided to publish based on the multiple sources I had on the matters”. One of whom might be Jason Knauf.
He is, after all, someone who goes back a long way with Dan Wootton. All the way back to Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. Quite apart from the similarity to knocking copy spread around about Diana, Princess of Wales in the mid 1990s, there is the interesting conjunction between Knauf’s name being pitched by the Times, and Wootton diving in, while also pitching the name of his old University pal.
Jason Knauf ((c) Getty Images)
That’s most unfortunate. Because Knauf is still, according to his LinkedIn entry, employed by the Royal Household. And the Murdoch Sun says he “is said to be at the heart of the allegations claiming Meghan Markle bullied staff … In his email which has only just emerged”. Dan Wootton no longer holds any sway at the Sun. And it shows.
Looks like Wootton may have dropped his pal in the mire. What a prize plonker he is.
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