Former Aussie staffer key to Meghan bullying probe

 

A former Australian staffer is likely to be a key figure in Buckingham Palace's bullying probe into accusations made against the Duchess of Sussex.

Samantha Cohen, a Queenslander who was seconded to work for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, was named in reports as a potential victim.

However, there are no details about how the human resources inquiry will work, or if it will continue, following Meghan's claims she did not receive help from the same department because she was not a paid employee.

The Duchess of Sussex at Admiralty House during their Australian tour. Picture: AAP
The Duchess of Sussex at Admiralty House during their Australian tour. Picture: AAP

Buckingham Palace launched its internal human resources probe into claims about Meghan last week following a report in The Times of London last week.

The claims were expected to include alleged behaviour during Prince Harry and Meghan's Australian tour, where the couple met with former governor-general Peter Cosgrove.

The probe centres on claims that Meghan "bullied" two staffers out of their jobs and that Ms Cohen, who worked for the Queen for almost two decades before she was asked to help the Sussexes, was put under considerable pressure.

Friends of Ms Cohen, who now co-chairs environment charity Cool Earth and is chief executive at the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council, have not returned calls.

However, Ms Cohen was due to give evidence on behalf of Meghan in a court case against the Daily Mail over a privacy breach surrounding her letter to her father Thomas Markle.

She had been expected to be asked about how Meghan's letter to Mr Markle, 76, was drafted.

The aide who wrote the bullying complaint email Jason Knauf had also been expected to testify but a judge ruled in Meghan's favour without requiring a trial.

 

 

The investigation was put under a cloud following claims that Meghan did not receive help from human resources when she was on the verge of suicide while pregnant with Archie.

"And so I went to human resources, and I said, 'I just really need help'," the duchess told Oprah Winfrey.

"Because in my old job there was a union, and they would protect me."

In a statement last week, Buckingham Palace said it was "very concerned" about the allegations detailed against Meghan.

"Accordingly our HR team will look into the circumstances outlined in the article. Members of staff involved at the time, including those who have left the Household, will be invited to participate to see if lessons can be learned," the statement said.

"The Royal Household has had a Dignity at Work policy in place for a number of years and does not and will not tolerate bullying or harassment in the workplace."

stephen.drill@news.co.uk

Originally published as Former Aussie staffer key to Meghan bullying probe



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