Piers Morgan Cleared for Criticizing Meghan After Oprah Interview


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LONDON — The British TV personality Piers Morgan was cleared on Wednesday by Britain’s communications regulator over critical comments he made on air about Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, after her bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Mr. Morgan had been under investigation by Ofcom, the media regulator, which received a record number of complaints in March after his criticism of Meghan.

In a 97-page ruling outlining the decision, Ofcom said that “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.”

In an interview broadcast in March, Meghan — a biracial former actress from the United States famed for her role in the legal drama “Suits” and for her marriage to Prince Harry in 2018 — told Ms. Winfrey that when she was pregnant with her first child, an unnamed member of the royal household expressed concerns about how dark the color of the baby’s skin would be. Meghan also said that palace officials refused her requests to seek mental health treatment when she said she had become suicidal.

Responding on ITV’s “Good Morning Britain” to Meghan’s claims, Mr. Morgan, who formerly anchored the daytime show, said he did not believe the duchess. More than 50,000 complaints about his criticism were lodged with the British media watchdog, including one filed by Meghan herself.

Mr. Morgan stormed off the set of the show, and later resigned, after his co-host Alex Beresford admonished him for his persistent criticism of Meghan. Ofcom announced the next day that it had opened an investigation into Mr. Morgan’s comments under its “harm and offense” rules.

On Wednesday, Mr. Morgan expressed delight on Twitter about the decision to clear him, writing that it was a “resounding victory for free speech and a resounding defeat for Princess Pinocchios.”

In an opinion article he wrote for The Daily Mail newspaper in response to Ofcom’s decision, Mr. Morgan wrote: “Make no mistake, this is a watershed moment in the battle for free speech. If Ofcom had found against me, that would have signaled the end of every U.K. TV journalist’s right to express any honestly held opinion on air lest it upset the likes of Meghan Markle.”

The New York Times


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