'She's a woman who has been pursued in the same way that Diana was' - George Clooney defends friend Meghan Markle
George Clooney has made it clear he's Team Meghan Markle.
In less than one year, Britain's Duchess of Sussex has attracted ire of royal watchers not seen before the social media age and since a rumoured rift with sister-in-law Kate Middleton was made public last year, the interest into her private life has been unwavering. None of this has been helped by the fact that her father Thomas regularly sells stories about his daughter and most recently on Sunday, released a private handwritten letter in which she begged with him to stop dealing with the press and to allow her to live her life.
When asked about the ongoing treatment of the former Suits star, which is playing out in front of the world's media, Clooney, who attended Meghan's wedding to Prince Harry last May with wife Amal, said: "They’re just chasing Meghan Markle everywhere, she’s been pursued and vilified. She’s a woman who is seven months pregnant and she has been pursued and vilified and chased in the same way that Diana was and it’s history repeating itself.”
"We’ve seen how that ends," he told Australia's Who magazine.
It's reported that the Clooneys, who have a home in the UK, have become increasingly close with the Sussexes, enjoying cosy nights at their home in the Cotswolds and while he wouldn't be drawn about the status of his friendship, he laughed off any suggestions he's in the running to become godfather.
"Oh yes, I’ll be godfather of the royals apparently," he said, before adding, "No! I’m a father of twins, I have enough s**t to deal with - literally."
Fresh criticism against the new duchess appears to have come from a piece in People magazine in which a number of her closest friends, who jumped to her defence, albeit off the record, with such detail that it's believed the expectant mother approved her friends to break their silence. The magazine's cover story detailed five different friends who wanted to "stand up against the global bullying we are seeing and speak the truth about our friend" and detailed how "normal" Meghan still is and remains in touch with her nearest and dearest from her pre-royal life.
"Meg has silently sat back and endured the lies and untruths. We worry about what this is doing to her and the baby. It’s wrong to put anyone under this level of emotional trauma, let alone when they’re pregnant," a source said.
Another friend added they had stayed at Nottingham Cottage, the two-bedroom property where the couple lives on the grounds of Kensington Palace, saying: "We had a couple of days together recently. Her husband was out of town on work. In the room she made up for me, there was a candle lit by the bed, slippers and a robe. We were the only two in the house. It was our time.
"She made the most lovely meals. She made tea every day. It was raining and muddy outside, so the dogs got all dirty, and she’s wiping them off with towels. How much she loves her animals, how much she loves her friends, how much she loves feeding you, taking care of you — none of that has changed."
The wave of abuse has been so prominent against Meghan and Kate in recent months that Kensington Palace is battling to monitor it all.
"The Palace has always monitored comments but it’s a hugely time consuming thing. They can block certain words, but some of it is quite serious," a source told Hello! last month. "Over the course of last year, with hundreds of thousands of comments, there were two or three that were violent threats. You can delete and report and block people and the police have options around particular people. It’s something you have to manage because there’s no other way to control it."