Duchess Meghan agreed to the Oprah interview on the same day she won her lawsuit

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February and March of this year were prime royal gossip months. It all started when the Duchess of Sussex won her lawsuit against the Mail on Sunday, in the court case about MoS publishing her letter to her father. She won her summary judgment on February 11th, meaning the judge ruled in her favor, although at the time, there were still some additional things to take care of. Days later, we learned that Meghan would do a sit-down interview with Oprah Winfrey. Many people noted that those two things were connected, Meghan winning the summary judgment and agreeing to the interview. It’s true, at least according to Finding Freedom. The timeline was dictated by the court case, although after the fact, the press made it all about Philip’s poor health at the time.

A source told the authors: “After the news of his [Philip’s] health came out, there were conversations with Harpo Productions about ensuring that the broadcast would be postponed if things were to worsen.”

Biographers Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand write in the re-released paperback version of their book that Harry and Meghan agreed to do the sit down with Oprah’s production company, Harpo, on Thursday, February 11. Oprah then had the weekend to prepare, with filming taking place early the following week, before Philip was admitted to hospital on February 17.

The broadcast went ahead on March 7 days after Philip had surgery, and the Duke was discharged on March 17. On April 9, Buckingham Palace released a statement saying Philip “passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.”

Finding Freedom describes how the press “were quick to accuse Harry and Meghan of insensitivity.”

Scobie and Durand also said the timing was dictated by Meghan’s victory in a privacy and copyright lawsuit against U.K. tabloid The Mail on Sunday. They write: “For the many who questioned the timing of the interview itself, sources said the couple had hoped to do it earlier but were advised to wait until Meghan’s lawsuit against The Mail on Sunday was decided. After the judge read a successful verdict at London’s High Court on February 11, the couple told Oprah that same day they could finally sit down and tell their story in their own words.”

[From Newsweek]

I think that goes a long way to explaining why Harry and Meghan didn’t do a tell-all interview in 2020 as well. Last year, I kind of hoped and expected that they would begin to tell their stories, and I still think the Oprah interview would have “landed” with a bang if it had gone down in, say, September 2020. Clearly, they were advised against it by the lawyers. I still don’t know how on earth they can continue to be blamed for inappropriate timing with Philip’s hospitalization either, especially given the fact that the news of the Oprah interview came out before Philip entered the hospital.

British Royal Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh leaves the King Edward VII Hospital in London.

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Photos courtesy of CBS, Backgrid.

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17 Responses to “Duchess Meghan agreed to the Oprah interview on the same day she won her lawsuit”

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  1. Sofia says:

    I don’t know how productions works but I doubt they agreed to it a month before. Maybe they did but I imagine something like this would take a few months of planning and talks after ALL the parties have agreed to it. Maybe talks already happened and it was “if I don’t win cancel the whole thing” but again, things like these probably take a bit to plan. Not just about what topics are okay to ask about but perhaps conversations with your lawyers and figuring out a time and date to do it on. NBC would probably have to be notified about it in advance too.

    • These are professional news people, they can plan and get a story up on the air pretty quickly. And if they were in talks to do it anyway, Oprah’s team would have been doing work on it as soon as they were in talks. Don’t underestimate how fast they can get stuff on the air when they WANT to, and clearly they REALLY wanted this on the air.

    • Naomi says:

      Could Oprah really have managed this interview with only a weekend to prepare? Wow, that is tight.

  2. Pao says:

    I think that meghan and harry waited to do a sit down interview more because they were moving and figuring out their new lives than because they were waiting for the verdict on the lawsuit (although i think it might have played a part). I also think they were waiting to see if the the “firm” would tone down the attacks. Something they clearly didn’t.

    • L4frimaire says:

      I still think that the decision was made after that birth certificate story came out, about how they took Meghan’s name off Archie’s birth certificate, it showed that the BRF was always going to attack them and lie about them. I do think it was prudent to wait until the summary judgement, so that makes sense.

  3. Tessa says:

    Harry was there too. Why does the article not mention that he agreed.

    • Mandy says:

      I hate it when media does this. They clearly think Harry hasn’t done nearly as much damage to their reputation than Meghan has when in reality it is Harry who has said the most and will continue to say the most in future. He’s the one with 37 years worth of stories.

      They want to rewrite history so that when they look back at this interview they will say “it’s Meghans interview and Harry was so shocked by HER interview that he decided to leave her” or whatever. They believe Harry will eventually divorce Meghan and he’ll be welcomed back into the fold “all is forgiven” and leave Meghan in the dirt.

      • lanne says:

        That will never work. They have 2 children, and for the British media to say, “Yay, Harry left his wife and abandoned his children!” isn’t going to be the power play they think it is. That would be a disaster, but they’re too stupid to realize this. Luckily, Harry is not the idiot they think he is, or want him to be. Even if they do split at some point, I don’t believe he’s going to meekly return to the royal family they way they want him to.

    • Catherine says:

      I believe a huge part of the reason the tabloids try to ignore Harry’s part of the interview is because they want people to ignore what he said about the contract between the media and the family. Harry has blamed the media more than his family and they don’t want to highlight that.

      • Agreatreckoning says:

        ++ The tabloids do keep skipping over that part about Harry blaming the British Media and the “invisible contract” and being trapped in the system. It’s also possible Harry agreed to do it much sooner than Meghan and she was waiting to see what would happen with the lawsuit.

        It also seems that the media is forgetting that Harry was working with Oprah on a project long before the interview.

  4. Mandy says:

    The time line behind all of this makes no sense. The interview was announced BEFORE Philip went to hospital. It was announced literally the day after their pregnancy announcement on February 16, Philip went to hospital on February 17 or 18. If you go back to the interview, it was filmed over 2 different days. The sit down part was filmed before Philip went to hospital and the part where Oprah visited the Sussexes mansion and Archie’s Chick Inn was the day after. Meghan even said in the interview that it wouldn’t have gone ahead had the situation with Philip worsened. This book is basically regurgitating everything the Sussexes said. Nothing new.

    Also They wouldn’t have agreed to the interview that quickly. This was clearly in the works months before the interview even filmed. It has nothing to do with the lawsuit win or Philip for the matter.

  5. Amy Bee says:

    Thanks Omid and Carolyn for stating the obvious. The interview would not have taken place if the Mail on Sunday lawsuit was going to go to trial. As for Philip, I think he was sent to hospital to try to stop Harry and Meghan from going ahead with the interview. They knew he didn’t have long to live and they used him as a distraction.

  6. sandy says:

    Finding Freedom is also fanfiction so very big grain of salt

  7. Catherine says:

    This is yet another example of Scobie and Durand taking info that is in the public domain and (1) acting as if it is “inside” sourced information and (2) putting things together and embellishing to make it seem as if they have inside info. Gayle King gave an interview where she stated that CBS had agreed to postpone airing the interview if Philip died. Oprah later confirmed that. Also, The initial announcement occurred because the interview was leaked to ITV by someone at CBS. So then CBS went ahead with the formal announcement. So it wasn’t directly related to the court case announcement. An interview like that doesn’t get set up in a matter of days. There were reports that Harry had been trying behind the scenes since the end of 2020 to get the trial period ended early. The Sussexes clearly were looking to move forward with their plans and doing an interview was probably part of that plan. And remember all during this Harry was working with Oprah of the mental health doc. So conversations were probably ongoing.

    • L4frimaire says:

      I feel like everything “ new” they’re adding to this book is already out there and on the record. A lot of it is projection, like them saying when Meghan and Harry were papped in Beverly Hills, it had something to do with her miscarriage and that they were “ furious “, although there is no corroboration this is even the case and they’re just guessing because of the date. Also they attributed a quote by Janina Gavankar to an inside source. Omid went into someone’s Twitter mentions when they made a comment criticizing him, so he is definitely aware a lot of people are pissed with these updates and how tacky, intrusive and embellished they seem. It’s like the FF authors are trying to add to Meghan and Harry’s direct words when they’ve been quite clear on many points.

  8. Over it says:

    I know this has nothing to do with this story, however i curious as to who owned the publishing house that published FF, I didn’t know it was owned by Rupert Murdock. My point you ask? Well I find it hard to believe that Harry and Meghan would want to have anything to do with anything own by Rupert Murdock. I know he owns a hell of a lot and in reality it’s probably impossible to avoid doing business with anything he owns however I like to think like for this, they would know better. So yeah my point is, I don’t believe they had anything to do with the book

  9. Naomi says:

    Could Oprah really have managed this interview with only a weekend to prepare? Wow, that is tight. More likely, it had been in the planning for some time.