George Clooney warned reporters that the treatment of his friend, Duchess Meghan Markle, is “history repeating itself,” likening the media scrutiny the new royal has faced to that of the late Princess Diana.
Clooney made the comments about the duchess at the Television Critics Association conference in Pasadena, California, while promoting his upcoming Hulu series Catch-22.
The actor told reporters that Markle is “a woman who is seven months pregnant and she has been pursued and vilified and chased in the same way that Diana was, and it’s history repeating itself... we’ve seen how that ends.”
Princess Diana, mother to Meghan’s now-husband Prince Harry, was killed in a 1997 Paris car crash while being chased by paparazzi. The press’ hounding of Diana was largely thought to be a contributor to her death.
“I do want to say, they’re just chasing Meghan Markle everywhere,” Clooney told Australia’s Who Magazine on Tuesday. “She’s been pursued and vilified.”
Markle has been battling against months of negative coverage, with palace insiders describing her as demanding and difficult to work with. The former actress’ complicated relationship with her father has also been endlessly dissected by the press and the public.
Clooney and his wife, international human-rights lawyer Amal Clooney, attended Meghan’s star-studded wedding to Prince Harry at Windsor Castle in May of last year.
In his comments, Clooney specifically addressed a private letter allegedly written by Meghan to her estranged father, and recently published in Britain’s Mail on Sunday newspaper.
“You’re taking a letter from a daughter to a father and broadcasting it everywhere,” he said. “She’s getting a raw deal there, it’s irresponsible. I’m sort of surprised by that.”
Rumors of a rift between Meghan and Kate Middleton, wife of Harry’s brother William, have added fodder to Meghan’s diva reputation.
Despite the negative rumors, Meghan’s friends remain loyal to the royal—and Clooney isn’t the first pal to push back on the swirling negativity. Last week, five of the duchess’ friends gave interviews to People magazine in which they portrayed Meghan as caring and grounded. They discussed Meghan’s home life in unprecedented detail, describing her habit of cooking dinner for herself and Harry ‘every night,’ and leaving slippers and a robe out in a candlelit room for friends who stay over in the couple’s modest London cottage.