Tennis star Serena Williams has posted a public message of solidarity with Meghan Markle, after the Duchess of Sussex sat with husband Prince Harry for an explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Among many revelations throughout the interview that aired on Sunday (March 7), Markle spoke of feeling suicidal and unsupported, and recalled how certain members of the Royal Family questioned “how dark” the skin colour of her unborn child would be.
“Megan Markle, my selfless friend, lives her life – and leads by example – with empathy and compassion,” Williams wrote on Instagram.
“She teaches me every day what it means to be truly noble. Her words illustrate the pain and cruelty she’s experienced.
“I know first hand the sexism and racism institutions and the media use to vilify women and people of colour to minimise us, to break us down and demonise us. We must recognise our obligation to decry malicious, unfounded gossip and tabloid journalism.
“The mental health consequences of systemic oppression and victimisation are devastating, isolating and all too of lethal,” she added.
Williams, mother to young daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr, also referred to Markle’s current and second pregnancy in her message. To Oprah, Markle revealed that her next child will be a sister to her and Harry’s firstborn son, Archie.
“I want Meghan’s daughter, my daughter, and your daughter to live in a society that is driven by respect,” wrote Williams.
“Keep in your memory the fruitage of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness, self-control. Against such things there is no law,” she added.
Williams also wrote in her caption that she is “so proud” of Markle for being “so brave”.
“I know it’s never easy. You are strong – both you and Harry. I love you. I adore you. Your friend S.”
Williams and Reddit co-founder husband Alexis Ohanian attended Harry and Meghan's wedding at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle in 2018.