Meghan Markle’s childhood friend has said he does not believe she ever bullied employees, saying he suspected she refused to “ queue up ” and spoke out against being disrespected.
Joshua Silverstein, a Los Angeles actor, told me Us weekly Wednesday that he “does not see her personally” mistreating employees of the royal family.
In a report on March 2, days before Markle and Prince Harry’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, The Times reported that members of their London household were traumatized working with the former actress, and senior members of their team were deeply distressed in the ‘bullying’ of junior staff members.
Silverstein, who was Markle’s first kiss, aged 13, and dated her during that summer, said he couldn’t believe the allegations.
Joshua Silverstein met Meghan Markle at summer camp when they were both 13
Silverstein said he couldn’t believe the allegations that Markle bullied employees
“I see her doing what she feels like she should to be happy and live together in a system that probably isn’t very welcoming to who she is and where she’s from,” he told the magazine.
‘When you see women of color – especially black women – they stand up for themselves and speak out and speak against what they feel [is] disrespect or oppression, often whiteness tends to classify that in a negative way because they don’t want that to happen.
“It’s almost like people are expected to know their place and if they don’t fit in, people say it’s a problem.”
The Times was told that staffers had been reduced to tears and could not ‘stop shaking’ after a confrontation with Markle – she vehemently denies.
Markle, 39, would be “ saddened by this latest assault on her character, especially as someone who has been the target of self-bullying and is deeply committed to supporting those who have experienced pain and trauma. ”
Buckingham Palace is currently investigating the claims.
Silverstein, now a married father of two who will hold a summer session at the Cazadero Performing Arts Family Camp, said he doubted the ‘control’ and ‘negative criticism’ will disappear once the Sussexes settle in California.
Silverstein (as a child, left), met Markle (as a teenager, right) when they were both 13
A 15-year-old Markle poses for Buckingham Palace on a European trip in 1996
But he said all that mattered was her happiness.
“She probably has to make difficult and uncomfortable decisions just to smile the next day,” he said.
That’s what life is all about: making tough decisions so you can live the life where you can thrive as the person you want.
“As long as she’s happy and he’s happy, that’s all that matters.”
Silverstein and Markle’s teenage romance began after the couple met at a drama-focused summer camp hosted by the Agape International Spiritual Center in California.
Founded in 1986, adherents, including Meghan’s mother Doria and Winfrey, believe that God is everywhere, that sickness starts in the mind, and that positive thinking has a healing effect.
As a result, Silverstein says, camp participants were encouraged to participate in meditation sessions as well as acting and dance workshops – the latter of which was much loved by Meghan, then a budding actress.
He says the couple initially had a bond with their mixed-race heritage, telling DailyMailTV in 2018 that they were thrown together because of their “ intimate ” class of 15.
The engagement photo of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
Silverstein said Us weekly that Markle and her father Thomas had a “challenging” relationship.
“I knew her father growing up,” he said.
“I haven’t seen him much, but I did know that Meghan’s relationship with her father was complicated and I understood that like most teenage-parent relationships are.
Being there when Meghan’s parents were divorced at the time – it’s hard to raise your kids without the second parent.
‘It’s all a challenge. I don’t think there was anything particularly surprising to discover at the time, because there were a lot of people I knew [who] had challenging relationships with their parents. But I knew about it. ‘
He said he “couldn’t speak about the specifics of what Meghan was going through” with her father, but said he remembered having “very cordial” interactions with him.
Their relationship as a father and daughter could be “ strained ” at the time as a result of the divorce, Silverstein said.
Meghan’s father moved to Mexico, living south of Tijuana, and the couple has been estranged since he started talking to the tabloid press shortly before her wedding.
They have lost contact.
“I think we are all human in the end and we all need to create boundaries with people we might not want to set boundaries with,” said Silverstein.
But in the end, you have to do what’s best for you and your family.
“If that means creating a boundary with your parents, sometimes you have to.”
Silverstein describes 13-year-old Meghan as ‘very sweet’, charming and ‘quirky’, but already showed the determination that brought her to success in Suits.
Silverstein described Markle, 13 years old, as very sweet, kind, talented and ambitious
“Meghan as a 13 year old was very nice, very sweet, very talented, very interested in the theater camp – then we saw how impressive she was on stage,” he said.
She was charming and quirky. She wasn’t a stereotypical 13-year-old girl; she wasn’t dressed in pink every day, she didn’t show off makeup or anything.
‘She was her own person, very authentic to who she was then. She was curious, I think she took her profession seriously. ‘
In actual teenage fashion, the couple realized they liked each other after telling friends about their respective crushes.
“I found out from our friends that she liked me and I loved her and I just think we decided it would be a good idea to become a boyfriend and girlfriend,” said Silverstein.
The relationship wasn’t his first: he’d kissed girls before in kindergarten and had a “ girlfriend ” in first grade.
And it certainly wouldn’t be his last: The couple broke up at the end of the summer before going to high school, because they didn’t want to ‘mute’ their interactions with others.
After that, Silverstein says, he only saw Meghan “three or four times” – all during their high school years – and always in church.
The couple then lost contact, although he says he was kept informed of her exploits through her mother Doria until four years ago, when he stopped attending services at the Agape church.
“I hadn’t seen her after high school,” said Silverstein. ‘But her mother still went to Agape, so I saw her mother often and I was friends with her mother.
Her mom would always fill me in – ‘oh Meghan’s modeling abroad or Meghan’s acting right now’. I think the last check in I had with Meghan’s mom was that Meghan was getting married [to ex-husband Trevor Engleson]
Or maybe it was Meghan on a show – I can’t remember the details of the show. But I think Meghan’s mom was always proud – no matter what Meghan did, she’s proud of Meg. Proud and happy for her. ‘