PLATELL’S PEOPLE: Meghan Markle’s lawyer and her comments about ‘bullying’ has insulted all of us career women

Meghan Markle’s lawyer says that ‘bullying’ is a word casually bandied around to discredit working women.

How opportune, considering that her client stands accused of having mistreated Palace staff. Jenny Afia argued that ‘bullying’ is ‘used very freely and it’s a very, very damaging term, particularly for career women’.

She was being interviewed for a podcast and compared royal aides to children for complaining that Meghan was guilty of emotional cruelty and manipulation when she was their boss before moving to California. Meghan strongly denies the accusations.

On behalf of all ‘career women’, I say to Ms Afia: do not patronise us.

Meghan Markle’s lawyer says that ‘bullying’ is a word casually bandied around to discredit working women. How opportune, considering that her client stands accused of having mistreated Palace staff. Pictured: Lawyer Jenny Afia

To equate, as she does, women’s mistreatment in the workplace with her seven-year-old daughter accusing her of bullying for being told to brush her teeth is contemptible.

Such twisted thinking is another example of today’s suffocatingly pernicious victim culture, of which Harry and his wife became the prime-time cheerleaders after their whinge-fest with Oprah Winfrey.

Ms Afia, described on her firm’s website as ‘an award-winning privacy & reputation lawyer who represents many of the world’s most successful people’, may not have noticed but we career women don’t need expensive lawyers to plead our case.

Pictured: Prince Harry and Meghan backstage meeting The Royal Marines Band at the half time interval of a performance at the Royal Albert Hall

Our work defines us. Unlike Meghan, who was a TV soap actress before marrying into the Royal Family, I have worked for three decades as a ‘career woman’ and been boss to hundreds of staff.

I have only ever made one employee cry. That was Alastair Campbell, whom I had to sack from the Daily Mirror. And he didn’t exactly shrink into obscurity, becoming Prime Minister Blair’s puppetmaster.

However Meghan’s lawyer tries to turn the argument into one about career women, the Duchess of Sussex remains accused of personally humiliating former Palace staff, driving two assistants out of the Royal Household and undermining the confidence of another aide.

Jason Knauf, Kensington Palace’s communications secretary at the time, submitted a formal complaint expressing his concerns, describing Meghan’s treatment of an employee as ‘totally unacceptable’.

Bullying is not, as Ms Afia claims, a word over-casually used to harm career women. According to the dictionary, it means ‘treating in an overbearing manner; to intimidate’.

It’s word to describe people of either sex who really are bullies.

Shalom’s not my star

Opinion is split on the real star of BBC1 thriller The Tourist. Is it Shalom Brune- Franklin (previously in Line Of Duty, below) who is sensationally evil?

Or Danielle Macdonald, the Aussie with a huge heart and whip-smart one-liners.

For me, though, the show-stealer is Jamie Dornan’s torso.

He’s fifty shades of gorgeousness.

Opinion is split on the real star of BBC1 thriller The Tourist. Is it Shalom Brune- Franklin (previously in Line Of Duty) who is sensationally evil?

Novak Djokovic’s father likens his tennis star son to Jesus and says the Australian authorities are ‘crucifying’ him by detaining No-vac as they deny him entry to the country.

Christ endured hours nailed to a cross. Hardly comparable to a stay in a 4.5-star, air-conditioned Melbourne hotel.

Donald Trump’s wife Melania hopes to raise £185,000 by auctioning this hat she wore for the French president’s visit to the White House in 2018.

I fear that, like her husband, Melania’s sense of self-importance has gone to her head.

Blair knight horrors 

My heart goes out to the parents of those British servicemen and women who lost their lives in the Iraq war and who vow to return the medals they won to the Queen in protest at Tony Blair’s knighthood.

It would be much more symbolic, though, if they marched on the Blairs’ £8.5 million London mansion — part of the family’s estimated £35 million property empire — and handed them to the unrepentant warmonger personally.

  • Blair has ignominious form with knighthoods. He recommended the now-shamed retail spiv Philip Green for the honour in 2006. 

Former Towie star James Argent admits he lost half his bodyweight through gastric sleeve surgery. If only female celebrities who took such dramatic action were as honest and didn’t try to hoodwink us that they slimmed purely by healthy eating and exercise. Not mentioning any names…

Is Khan giving up on crime?

Despite presiding over a record number of youth knife deaths — many drug-crime-related — London mayor Sadiq Khan wants youngsters found in possession of up to half an ounce of cannabis to avoid criminal charges.

What next, no prosecution for carrying a knife if you only stab someone gently?

Some legal experts say the very least Prince Andrew can expect is social exile, being stripped of his royal title and forced to sever all his military connections. Surely still living with his cling-on ex-wife Fergie is a life sentence for any man?

The Pope’s insensitive criticism of those of us who are childless — saying: ‘Renouncing parenthood diminishes us, it takes away our humanity’ — is curious, considering that as leader of the world’s Catholic priests, he has taken a vow never to father children.

Not in PJs Kathryn?

Back for its 16th series, TV’s The Apprentice includes such fame-wannabes as ‘online pyjama store owner’ Kathryn Louise Burn, 29. However, her Love Island-style publicity shots suggest she’s not the type to wear pyjamas herself.

I’m more impressed by Shama Amin, a 41-year-old mum of five and children’s day nursery owner who says she wants to be a role model for other Asian women.

Angela won it in a flash

No wonder Boris Johnson got in a fluster at this week’s Prime Minister’s Questions when confronted by Angela Rayner (right), standing in for serial Covid patient Sir Keir Starmer.

Wearing a chic dress that showed off her thighs, the Labour deputy leader was channelling her inner Sharon Stone.

Boris has always had a tendresse for women with basic instincts.

Mary’s cross to bear

A tribunal has ruled that a nurse was unfairly hounded out of her job in an NHS hospital for wearing a Christian cross necklace.

Thank the Lord that sanity prevailed — and what courage it must have taken for Mary Onuoha, 61, to stand up for her beliefs.

Yesterday was the third anniversary of my parents’ death. The only consolation is that if they had died in a later year, I wouldn’t have had the chance to hold their hands one last time.

Ever since a rescue cat called Mostaccioli was likened to Queen singer Freddie Mercury, we moggy-lovers have been wondering who our own felines resemble.

My adorable Ted has wild white fur (with a few hints of ginger), balding patches, a fat belly and sneaks out to meet Lalya next door.

Sadly, I guess his alter ego is Boris Johnson.

In the latest episode of the risibly woke sequel to Sex And The City, the character played by the seemingly ageless Sarah Jessica Parker contemplates a facelift, eye lift, neck lift and almost-everything lift.

Just guessing, but I don’t suppose 56-year-old SJP needed much research to play the scene convincingly.

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