Hillary Clinton has said she wishes she could hug Meghan Markle as she accused the mainstream British media of participating in a cycle of abuse against her motivated by racism and sexism.
The former first lady and presidential candidate was appearing on BBC radio in Britain to promote a new book she has written with her daughter, Chelsea, about “gutsy” women.
Hillary said the abuse she had suffered was “heartbreaking and wrong” and said she was in no doubt there was a racial element to the abuse she has endured since starting a relationship with Harry in 2016 and marrying him in 2018.
Meghan and Harry have been outspoken in their criticism of the press: Meghan is suing the Mail on Sunday after alleging the paper unlawfully published a private letter to her father, while the prince is bringing a separate case alleging phone-hacking.
Asked to comment on her legal action, Chelsea Clinton said: “We each have to do what we think is the right thing for ourselves and in her case I would imagine for her son… I think absolutely there’s a racist and a sexist element to what’s going on here.”
Hillary added that “race was clearly an element” in some of the social-media backlash Meghan had faced since her relationship with the prince began in 2016, and that traditional media had amplified that.
“To think that some of your, what we would call mainstream media, actually allowed that to be printed in their pages, or amplified, was heartbreaking and wrong.
“She is an amazing young woman, she has an incredible life story. She has stood up for herself, she has made her own way in the world. And then she falls in love, and he falls in love with her, and everybody should be celebrating that because it is a true love story.
“I feel as a mother I just want to put my arms around her. Oh my God, I want to hug her. I want to tell her to hang in there, don’t let those bad guys get you down.”
Clinton suggested that Meghan could employ “some humor, some deflection” to better cope with negative attention.