Prince Harry & Meghan Markle

Meghan Markle Opens Up About Being 'Bullied' During Her Pregnancies: 'It's Not Catty, It's Cruel'

Home / News / Meghan Markle Opens Up About Being 'Bullied' During Her Pregnancies: 'It's Not Catty, It's Cruel'

By Favour Adegoke on March 9, 2024 at 3:00 PM EST

The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, recently spoke candidly about the toxicity of social media and the bullying she received online, particularly during her pregnancies with Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet.

She admitted to feeling unprotected by the royal family and grappling with mental health challenges. Meghan also criticized women perpetuating hate online and the profit-driven nature of social media platforms.

Article continues below advertisement

Meghan Markle Calls Out The Online Bullying She Experienced During Her Pregnancies

Meghan Markle celebrates 41st birthday, Montecito, California, USA - 4 Aug 2022

During her keynote discussion on the dangers of social media titled, "Breaking Barriers, Shaping Narratives: How Women Lead On and Off the Screen," at South By Southwest in Austin, Texas, Meghan Markle shared her insights on the perils of social media.

At the event, moderator Errin Haines asked the Duchess, "Social media really has become the place for women and girls to be scrutinized, objectified, bullied, and unfortunately, I know this is something you are all too familiar with. How have you been able to manage the seemingly endless toxicity that comes at you?"

Meghan responded, per NYP: "Yes, social media is an environment that I think has a lot of that. You know, I think it's really interesting as I can reflect on it; I keep my distance from it right now just for my own well-being."

Article continues below advertisement

She continued, "But the bulk of the bullying and abuse that I was experiencing on social media and online was when I was pregnant with Archie and Lili and with a newborn with each of them."

Article continues below advertisement

Meghan Markle Wonders Why 'People Would Be So Hateful' And 'Cruel'

following the death of Queen Elizabeth II

During her pregnancy with Archie in 2019, Meghan reportedly felt "unprotected" by the royal family and endured significant "emotional distress" and mental health challenges.

After her son's birth in May 2019, Meghan and Harry decided to step down from their royal duties in January 2020 and relocate to America. Their daughter, Lilibet, was born in June 2021 in California, where they now reside.

In a revealing interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2021, the mom of two disclosed grappling with suicidal thoughts due to intense media scrutiny following her marriage to Harry in 2018.

Article continues below advertisement

Reflecting on her experience at the SXSW event, Meghan expressed disbelief at the cruelty of some individuals, noting: "You just think about that, and to wrap your head around why people would be so hateful. It's not catty, it's cruel."

"And why you would do that. Certainly, when you're pregnant, with a newborn, we all know as moms, it's such a tender and sacred time," she added, per NYP.

Article continues below advertisement

Meghan Markle Says 'We've Forgotten About Our Humanity'

Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton

In her extensive commentary on the negative aspects of social media, Meghan expressed her dismay at how "much of the hate is women completely spewing it to other women."

The former actress questioned the rationale behind sharing hurtful content about fellow women, stating: "Reading something terrible about a woman, why are you sharing it with your friends?"

"That's the piece that's so lost right now. We've forgotten about our humanity … Even if it's making dollars, it doesn't make sense," she added.

Article continues below advertisement

Meghan also criticized the profit-driven nature of these social media platforms, highlighting the contradiction between financial gain and ethical responsibility.

"Everyone can hear the brilliance of this platform, but it also has hate and rhetoric. [The platform] incentivizes people to create pages to turn out comments and conspiracy theories that have a tremendous effect on mental health and safety," Meghan pointed out.

The Duchess Is 'Frightened' About Her Children Using Social Media

The National Service of Thanksgiving to Celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen, at St Paul's Cathedral, London, UK, on the 3rd June 2022. 03 Jun 2022 Pictured: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex.

During the World Mental Health Day celebrations in New York City last year, Meghan said she is "frightened" about her children's future engagement with social media.

"As parents, though our kids are young, they're two and a half and four and a half… but social media is not going away," she acknowledged.

Reflecting on the evolution of social media, she lamented its deviation from its original purpose, stating: "I think by design, there was an entry point that was supposed to be positive in creating community, and something has devolved, and there's no way to hear that and not try to help these families have their stories be heard."

Article continues below advertisement
Queen Elizabeth's Friend BASHES Meghan Markle For Joining Royal Family

The "Suits" alum admitted to being apprehensive about social media's potential influence on her children's upbringing.

"I also feel frightened by how it's continuing to change," she said. "And this will be in front of us. As they say, 'Being a parent, the days are long, but the years are short.' So it worries me."

Despite her concerns, Meghan expressed optimism about the progress made in addressing these issues over the past year. She said, "But I'm also given a lot of hope and a lot of energy by the progress we've made in the last year."

Article continues below advertisement