Meghan Markle ‘absolutely livid’ over Piers’ Ofcom ruling & ‘will speak to lawyers to see what she can do’, expert says
MEGHAN Markle will be “absolutely livid” over Ofcom’s decision to clear Piers Morgan of her complaint against him, a royal expert has claimed.
Royal biographer Angela Levin says the Duchess of Sussex could bring her lawyers in after Ofcom ruled the former Good Morning Britain host was entitled to give his opinions about her during a heated debate.
Piers, 56, sensationally stormed off GMB in March after dismissing the legitimacy of Meghan Markle’s claims to Oprah Winfrey that she suffered suicidal thoughts.
Meghan and Harry personally lodged a complaint against Piers to ITV and Ofcom to fight against his outburst.
Ofcom confirmed at the time: “We can confirm receipt of a standards complaint made on behalf of the Duchess of Sussex.”
But in a huge win for freedom of speech, Ofcom today said that restricting Piers Morgan’s strong views would be an “unwarranted and chilling restriction on freedom of expression.”
The regulator ruled that the broadcaster was indeed “entitled” to say he disbelieved Meghan and Harry’s allegations made during their interview with Oprah in March.
On how Meghan will feel about the ruling, Royal author Angela Levin told The Sun Online: “I think she will be absolutely livid and she’ll ask her lawyers to see what they can do about it.
“She can’t cope with someone saying she didn’t tell the truth. Because she is all about compassion and understanding and caring for people.”
During his GMB rant, Piers made dismissive comments about Meghan’s claims to have suffered with her mental health.
He even claimed he didn’t believe she was left feeling suicidal.
Ingrid Seward, the editor in chief of Majesty Magazine, believes those comments in particular were unfair.
“I should think she will be upset because he was extremely rude about her,” she told The Sun.
“I absolutely understand him saying she was telling a lot of untruths but we don’t know if she was suicidal or not so I don’t think that’s fair.”
It comes as…
- Piers Morgan hails ‘watershed moment’ for free speech over Meghan Markle GMB row
- ‘I still don’t believe her,’ says Piers after Ofcom verdict
- Royal commentator Robert Jobson calls the watchdog ruling ‘a victory for common sense and free speech’
- Piers says he is ‘delighted’ at the ‘resounding victory for free speech’
- Good Morning Britain was not in breach the broadcasting code, Ofcom rules
- Piers Morgan claims ‘nauseating’ Meghan Markle ‘played the maternity card’ when she complained to Ofcom
- Royal expert Angela Levin hailed it a ‘marvellous result from Ofcom’
- The former GMB presenter jokes: ‘Do I get my job back?’
In the aftermath of the broadcast, Piers’ rant – which focused on Meghan’s Oprah interview – received the most complaints to Ofcom in a decade – with more than 57,000 lodged against him.
The regulator later confirmed they had launched an investigation into the episode of Good Morning Britain under “harm and offence rules
But Ofcom has since ruled Piers was indeed “entitled” to say he disbelieved Meghan and Harry’s allegations made during their interview with Oprah in March.
It’s now thought that Meghan is unlikely to take theverdict sitting down.
“I think saying that is a fair ruling is not in Meghan’s vocabulary,” Angela Levin said.
“She is a very, very determined woman that’s why she has gone so far.”
Ingrid Seward added: “She’s got these very powerful Hollywood lawyers and they like to fight. I think they might well advise her to fight back.”
After Ofcom’s ruling this morning, the Piers took to Twitter to jokingly ask if he could get his job back.
He tweeted: “I’m delighted OFCOM has endorsed my right to disbelieve the Duke & Duchess of Sussex’s incendiary claims to Oprah Winfrey, many of which have proven to be untrue.
“This is a resounding victory for free speech and a resounding defeat for Princess Pinocchios. Do I get my job back?”
On whether Meghan will accept his victory, royal commentator Adam Helliker told The Sun: “I think she’s going to feel more determined and it will up her game so to speak.
“I don’t think in terms of legal action or appeal they will go down that route.
“But they will up their game in terms of putting out more statements, being more independent and just pushing away even further.”
Referring to Meghan and Harry’s rift with the Royal Family, he added: “I think the two sides are so wide from each other now and someone like Piers is a great big player in this kind of circus.
“But he does represent, despite those 50,000 complaints, a lot of viewers will agree with him.”
ITV’s episode of Good Morning Britain caused outrage among the public – but the verdict today states that Piers’ opinions were “consistent with the right to freedom of expression.”
The watchdog said the comments were “potentially harmful and offensive” but ruled GMB was not in breach the broadcasting code.
Ofcom said that it was “legitimate” and in the public interest for ITV to broadcast Piers’ scrutiny of Meghan Markle and her interview with Oprah.
In a statement released this morning, Ofcom said: “This interview became a major international news story and we acknowledged it was both legitimate and in the public interest for ITV to broadcast debates featuring presenters such as Mr Morgan scrutinising those allegations including the veracity, timing and possible motivations of the claims.
“Consistent with the right to freedom of expression, broadcasters can portray strong views on the matter, including views casting doubt on the claims made.
Ofcom is clear that, consistent with freedom of expression, Mr Morgan was entitled to say he disbelieved the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s allegations and to hold and express strong views that rigorously challenged their account.
“Ofcom is clear that, consistent with freedom of expression, Mr Morgan was entitled to say he disbelieved the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s allegations and to hold and express strong views that rigorously challenged their account.
“The Code allows for individuals to express strongly held and robustly argued views, including those that are potentially harmful or highly offensive, and for broadcasters to include these in their programming.
“The restriction of such views would, in our view, be an unwarranted and chilling restriction on freedom of expression both of the broadcaster and audience.”
An Ofcom spokesperson added: “This was a finely-balanced decision. Mr Morgan’s comments were potentially harmful and offensive to viewers, and we recognise the strong public reaction to them.
“But we also took full account of freedom of expression. Under our rules, broadcasters can include controversial opinions as part of legitimate debate in the public interest, and the strong challenge to Mr Morgan from other contributors provided important context for viewers.
“Nonetheless, we’ve reminded ITV to take greater care around content discussing mental health and suicide in future.
“ITV might consider the use of timely warnings or signposting of support services to ensure viewers are properly protected.”