Serena Williams has released a powerful statement praising “my selfless friend” Meghan Markle after the Duchess of Sussex’s televised Sunday interview with Oprah Winfrey, where she described feeling suicidal during her time in the royal family.
“Meghan Markle, my selfless friend, lives her life – and leads by example – with empathy and compassion,” the tennis star said of Markle in a statement posted to Twitter.
“She teaches me every day what it means to be truly noble. Her words illustrate the pain and cruelty she’s experienced,” Williams continued.
“I know firsthand the sexism and racism institutions and the media use to vilify women and people of color to minimise us, to break us down and demonise us,” she added.
Watch: The key revelations from Meghan and Harry’s Oprah interview
“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.
“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 no such things there is no law.”
On Sunday night (7 March), CBS broadcast the highly anticipated two-hour special, where Oprah Winfrey interviewed Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for the first time since the couple “stepped down” as senior members of the royal family.
The interview delivered a number of bombshell moments that have been described as “devastating” and approaching “worst-case scenario territory” for Buckingham Palace.
Meghan revealed that she had suffered from suicidal thoughts and that the palace did not help her when asked. She also said Harry had been approached by unnamed royal family members with concern over how dark her unborn child’s skin would be.
The couple also revealed that their second child, due in the summer, is a girl.
Watch: How Are People Reacting to the Harry and Meghan's Interview?