Meghan Markle's summer camp sweetheart has defended her against bullying claims made against her by former staff at Buckingham Palace.
Former boyfriend Joshua Silverstein said he imagined the Duchess of Sussex may not have "fallen in line" during her time as a senior royal.
He told Us Weekly: "I see her doing whatever it is she feels like she should do in order to be happy and coexist within a system that has probably not been very welcoming to who she is and where she comes from.
"When you find women of colour - particularly Black women - standing up for themselves and speaking out and speaking against what they feel [is] disrespect or oppression, often times whiteness tends to classify that in negative ways because they don’t want that to happen.
"It’s almost like people are expected to know their place and whenever they don’t fall in line with that, then people say it’s a problem."
He also told the publication he didn't "see her" as bullying people during her time at the palace.
Silverstein and Meghan dated when they were 13, meeting at the Agape International Spiritual Centre and sharing their first kiss at summer camp. She recalled the story during an appearance on Larry King when she was an actor.
He revealed they broke up because he left her in a cinema during a screening of Clueless as he "didn't want to watch the romance part".
Days before Prince Harry and Meghan's interview with Oprah Winfrey was broadcast in the US and UK, The Times reported that staff at the palace who had worked with them had been reduced to tears after some interactions with the duchess.
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But the duchess's spokesman denied allegations of bullying, calling the timing of the article a smear campaign and adding: "The duchess is saddened by this latest attack on her character, particularly as someone who has been the target of bullying herself and is deeply committed to supporting those who have experienced pain and trauma."
Buckingham Palace said the article would be taken seriously and invited people who wanted to have their say to come forward for an inquiry.
Meghan, 39, was defended by many of her friends and former co-workers online in the wake of the allegations too.
Janina Gavankar, who has known the duchess for 17 years, told ITV's This Morning: "I have seen how she works with people.
"She's not a bully. The truth will come out – there are plenty of emails and texts about that."
Jessica Mulroney, whose children were part of Meghan's wedding party, said: "I don’t know that anyone has ever had to deal with the pressure, the politics and the press like this woman.
"In the face of it all, I have never seen her waver from kindness, empathy and love."
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