By Emma Dooney
The White House has commended Meghan Markle for her honesty about her mental health struggles in her recent interview with Oprah Winfrey.
- The White House press secretary Jen Psaki praised the Duchess of Sussex for speaking candidly about her mental health in her interview with Oprah.
- Meghan revealed she struggled with suicidal thoughts when she was pregnant with Archie due to the intense pressure of royal fame.
- In other royal news, the Queen’s response to grandson Harry and Meghan’s interview will be ‘careful and constructive’.
The Biden administration has praised Meghan Markle for her honesty on her mental health struggles during her widely-watched interview with Oprah Winfrey on Sunday night. In response to reporters asking for comment on the Primetime special, White House press secretary Jen Psaki shared her admiration for the Duchess of Sussex’s candidness on her experience with suicidal thoughts.
“Obviously many of us caught the interview, as many Americans did and many people around the world," she said.
Psaki did not confirm whether or not President Joe Biden had seen the interview, but suggested that he would have fully supported Meghan’s decision to share her difficult journey with the public.
“For anyone to come forward and speak about their own struggles with mental health and tell their own personal story, that takes courage. That's certainly something the president believes," she said.
Psaki also took the opportunity to emphasize the Biden administration’s prioritization of mental health services, adding that the president has “talked about the importance of investing in a lot of these areas.”
Psaki’s positive comments come after Meghan opened up to Oprah about her mental health struggles while settling into her new life in Britain. The duchess admitted that the pressure of royal fame and the lack of support from Buckingham Palace drove her to a dark place, leaving her hopeless and suicidal when she was pregnant with Archie.
"I was ashamed to say it at the time and ashamed to have to admit it to Harry, especially, because I know how much loss he’s suffered,” she told Oprah.
“But I knew that if I didn't say it - then I would do it. I just didn't want to be alive anymore."
Meghan noted one memory in particular, recalling the photographs of an event that haunt her to this day. She and Harry attended the premiere of Cirque du Soleil's Totem at Royal Albert Hall in 2019, just hours after she admitted to him she was feeling suicidal.
"Every time those lights went down in that royal box, I was just weeping," she said.
"You have no idea what’s going on for someone behind closed doors. You've no idea."
She went on to urge viewers to remember that people’s suffering isn’t always visible, adding that 'even the people that smile and shine the brightest lights' can feel pain. "You need to have compassion for what is actually potentially going on.”
Several notable people have come forward in support of the duchess since the interview aired, including her friend, Serena Williams, who condemned the cruelty Meghan has experienced in a touching message on social media. Hillary Clinton also jumped to the royal’s defense, blasting the press’s treatment of Meghan during a Washington Post live event to mark International Women’s Day on Monday.
“Their cruelty in going after Meghan was just outrageous,” the former US State secretary said. “And the fact she did not get more support, that the reaction was, you know, let's just paper it over and pretend that it didn't happen or it will go away, just keep your head down, well, you know, this young woman was not about to keep her head down, you know, this is 2021."
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