GMB's Ben Shephard defends Meghan Markle in clash with controversial exposé author Tom Bower

Ben Shephard and Tom Bower clashed over Meghan Markle. (ITV/Shutterstock)
Ben Shephard and Tom Bower clashed over Meghan Markle. (ITV/Shutterstock)

Ben Shephard has defended Meghan Markle on Good Morning Britain during a clash with author Tom Bower over his new book about her.

The author appeared on ITV's breakfast news show on Thursday to talk about his book Revenge: Meghan, Harry and the war between the Windsors, which has hit headlines with its claims about the Duchess of Sussex.

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Journalist Bower has included anecdotes in his book where interviewees have alleged they experienced bullying behaviour or rudeness from Markle.

She and Prince Harry have strenuously denied any accusations of bullying towards staff.

In Thursday's interview, Shephard and Bower clashed over whether the former Suits actor was famous in her own right before marrying into the Royal Family.

Shephard said: "I mean Meghan was an independently, successful Hollywood actress, famous in her own right, and ambitious like lots of people are and had a strong view about how she wants to be seen.

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"No-one can sort of suggest that isn't the right way of going... sort of what she wants to do, it's her life. Why should she suddenly be judged in terms of what some people say is bullying, and others are saying is just having forthright views?

"I mean she's just trying to control her brand, she's not the first well known person to do that is she?"

Ben Shephard attends the Shooting Star Ball in aid of Shooting Star Children's Hospices at the Royal Lancaster Hotel on November 12, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
Ben Shephard defended Meghan Markle. (Getty Images)

But Bower replied: "Not at all, but I think you say, 'she was a famous actress' - she wasn't, she was a third rate..."

Shephard interrupted: "No, that's not true."

Bower argued that he thought Suits had only been watched by a million people, but Shephard again replied: "No, that's not true. She was a very famous actress and she had a high profile in Hollywood and Suits was a series that was streamed all over the world, so people knew who she was."

Prince Harry (R) and Meghan Markle (L), the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, attend the 2020 UN Nelson Mandela Prize award ceremony at the United Nations in New York on July 18, 2022. - The Prize is being awarded to Marianna Vardinoyannis of Greece and Doctor Morissanda Kouyate of Guinea. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP) (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)
Meghan and Harry are the subjects of Tom Bower's book. (AFP via Getty Images)

The author replied: "Well, I won't argue but I disagree with you. But the point is, until she met Harry, even Graydon Carter who works at Vanity Fair and had commissioned the article, had never heard of her and had never heard of Suits, he was just told that whoever married Harry was going to be famous, as she indeed was."

Shephard's stance on defending Markle was very different to his former colleague Piers Morgan's, who stormed out of the Good Morning Britain studio in March 2021 over a row about her and eventually quit the show.

He had called into question Markle's comments about her mental health and racist remarks about baby Archie from a member of the Royal Family which she revealed during her Oprah Winfrey interview.

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