Meghan Markle is ‘absolutely mortified’ with best friend Jessica Mulroney’s ‘tone-deaf’ threats to sue a black influencer and can ‘no longer be associated with her’, close friends of the Duchess of Sussex tell DailyMail.com exclusively.
‘Meghan is absolutely mortified that she’s been dragged into this complete mess. She said Jessica is in no way a racist, but the way she handled the situation (with the fashion influencer) was tone-deaf and heartbreaking,’ a close friend of Meghan’s said.
Mulroney has been fired from ABC’s Good Morning America and had her reality TV show canceled after threatening to sue black influencer Sasha Exeter after the pair got into a row over racism on Instagram.
‘Meghan said friends reflect friends and because of what’s at stake she can no longer be associated with Jessica, at least not in public. She has to do what she has to do in order to preserve her dignity and her own reputation,’ they added.
Meghan Markle is ‘absolutely mortified’ with best friends Jessica Mulroney’s ‘tone-deaf’ threats to sue a black influencer and can ‘no longer be associated with her’, close friends of the Duchess of Sussex tell DailyMail.com exclusively
‘Meghan said friends reflect friends and because of what’s at stake she can no longer be associated with Jessica,’ a source tells DailyMail.com
The scandal brings intense embarrassment to Meghan who devoted her brief time as a royal to promoting social good and is a life-long racial equality activist.
The source added that they ‘wouldn’t be surprised’ if this marked the ‘beginning of the end of their friendship’.
They also said that Meghan cannot publicly defend Mulroney in this case or help salvage her career.
‘It’s not like Meghan can just call up ABC and defend Jessica,’ the source said. ‘There was a reason Meghan waited to so long to make a statement. She wanted to get it right. She said she urged Jessica to do the same thing from the get-go.’
Meghan made note of why she waited to make her statement on racial ineqaulity in a virtual speech to the graduating class at her former high school.
‘I wasn’t sure what I could say to you. I wanted to say the right thing and I was really nervous that I wouldn’t or that it would get picked apart. And I realized the only wrong thing to say is to say nothing,’ Meghan said.
Mulroney referenced Meghan in her apology to Exeter on Instagram, saying: ‘I am unequivocally sorry for not doing that with you and for any hurt I’ve caused. As I told you privately, I have lived a very public and personal experience with my closest friend where race was front and center. It was deeply educational. I learned a lot from that. I promise to continue to learn and listen on how I can use my privilege to elevate and support black voices.’
Toronto-based Influencer Sasha Exeter said she was left ‘paralysed with fear’ and ‘stayed up days and nights’ worrying about what Jessica (right) ‘could be saying to my existing brand partners, potential work, potential livelihood’
‘Meghan is absolutely mortified that she’s been dragged into this complete mess. She said Jessica is in no way a racist, but the way she handled the situation (with the fashion influencer) was tone-deaf and heartbreaking,’ a close friend of Meghan’s said
Mulroney issued a statement after her firing, saying she respects CTV’s decision and is sorry for her actions
The turmoil began when black Candadian influencer Sasha Exeter revealed that weeks ago, Mulroney ‘took offense’ to a ‘generic call to action’ she made asking white influencers to use their platforms
She claimed that Mulroney threatened Exeter with a lawsuit after Exeter publicly revealed that they’d been embroiled in a private war of words over racism.
The scandal brings intense embarrassment to Meghan who devoted her brief time as a royal to promoting social good and is a life-long racial equality activist
According to Exeter, Mulroney responded ‘personally’ to a ‘generic call to action’ that the black single mother issued on her Instagram page weeks ago, asking white influencers to use their platforms to advance the Black Lives Matter movement.
It’s unclear how exactly Mulroney responded but the two – who were once ‘acquaintances’ – started arguing and it ‘ultimately’ escalated to Mulroney telling Exeter that she was going to contact companies that Exeter worked with.
When Exeter went public, Mulroney posted a comment on her Instagram page for others to see in which she apologized. Exeter claims she however then sent her a private message, threatening to sue her for libel.
‘Liable suit. Good luck,’ she wrote, misspelling the complaint she seemingly intended to make.
Canadian television network CTV fired Mulroney on Thursday and axed her wedding show, I do, Redo. She was also dropped by a clothing company she worked with.
On Thursday night, Mulroney issued a statement on her own Instagram page to say she’d had time to reflect on her actions and that she is genuinely remorseful.
‘She rightfully called me out for not doing enough when it came to engaging in the important and difficult conversation around race and injustice in our society.
‘I took it personally and that was wrong. I need to do better. I did not intend in any way to jeopardize her livelihood. We had a disagreement and it got out of hand.
‘For that I am sorry. I’m going to be stepping back from social media in the coming days and giving my microphone to Black voices by having them take over my account.
‘I have also asked Sasha if she would be willing to take over my account whenever she is comfortable and tell her story,’ she said.
Hours after posting her initial video about her argument with Mulroney, Exeter claimed to have been sent further messages ‘threatening a law suit to try and shut you up’
Exeter went on to claim she had been sent a private message from Jessica suggesting she would file a lawsuit against her
After Exeter shared details of their feud, Mulroney posted this public comment saying she’d been wrong but that she had ‘personal experience with’ her ‘closest friend where race was front and centre’
In a statement to DailyMail.com on Friday, a GMA spokeswoman said: ‘As Jessica Mulroney said last night, she is stepping away from her professional engagements and that includes Good Morning America. She will no longer appear on our show.’
ABC’s decision to severe ties with Mulroney came after staffers told DailyMail.com that they wanted her to be shown the door.
‘Why isn’t ABC firing her? Her actions are completely unacceptable and do not reflect the values of Good Morning America.
‘We have a wonderfully diverse team – yet Jessica used her privilege to get her job and should be fired for her behavior in abusing it.
‘CTV quickly fired her and many Canadian brands have done the same, why aren’t we doing that? This sends the wrong message.”
‘Plus she should be fired for working on a news show and not being able to spell libel.
‘ABC needs to take a stand. What are they afraid of? P**ssing off Meghan and Harry or the Trudeau family?
‘The abuse of privilege here is outrageous,’ the staffer said.
Mulroney was last night dropped by CTV and Hudson’s Bay after Exeter shared their argument
Beauty Brand Fancy Face Inc. that Mulroney also worked with cut ties with her on Friday
Mulroney was a fashion contributor on the wildly popular morning show Good Morning American until her firing Friday. She is seen with host Robin Roberts
In an IGTV video, Exeter said she’d made a ‘very generic call to action’ at the start of the movement asking all influencers to use their platforms for good.
Exeter said she was careful not to ‘call out’ anyone in particular but Mulroney took it badly.
She said: ‘Unfortunately though, one very prominent Canadian figure, who used to be an acquaintance of mine, named Jessica Mulroney, took offence to a very generic call to action that I shared on my IG (Instagram) stories.
‘What happened next was a series of very problematic behavior and antics that ultimately resulted in her sending me a threat in writing last Wednesday.
‘Listen, I am by no means calling Jess a racist but what I will say is this, she is very well aware of her wealth, her perceived power and privilege because of the color of her skin.
‘And that my friends gave her the momentary confidence to come for my livelihood in writing’.
It escalated and eventually, Mulroney told her: ‘I have also spoken to companies and people about the way you have treated me unfairly.
‘You think your voice matters. Well it only matters if you express it with kindness and without shaming people who are simply trying to learn. Good luck.’
Before her firing, Mulroney issued this apology to Exeter on her Instagram
Exter said she was dumbfounded by the response and ‘paralyzed with fear’ that her partnerships or endorsements may be taken from her.
She said she ‘by no means’ thinks Mulroney is racist but that she is acutely aware of her white privilege.’
‘For her to threaten me?
‘A single mother, a single black mother, during a racial pandemic? Blows my mind, it is absolutely unbelievable.’
Mulroney has been slammed by her friend and fellow TV presenter Tracy Moore, who is black.
She said Jessica had ‘used her extreme privilege to potentially bury a Black sister’.
‘I am a friend. I am also a Black woman. The emotional labor often falls on our backs to speak up, push through and fight hard,’ Moore said.
‘Let’s unlearn lashing out at Black women as a legitimate response to feeling called out.’
Who is Meghan’s best friend Jessica Mulroney?
The Duchess of Sussex’s close friend, unofficial wedding planner, and long-distance stylist is one of the most well-connected women in Canada.
She is married to Ben Mulroney, the oldest son of the former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, and the couple live in Toronto with their three children; twins Brian and John, and their little girl, Ivy.
Listing herself as an expert in brand strategy and PR on her very active Instagram feed, Jessica is also a wedding planner and the founder of the Shoebox Project, a charity initiative that distributes shoeboxes full of gifts to women in need.
Canadian stylist Jessica reportedly took Meghan under her wing when the former Suits star was living in Toronto to film Suits
Support: Jessica, seen helping her flower girl daughter Ivy up the steps of St George’s Chapel along with the Duchess of Cambridge at Meghan and Harry’s wedding in May, is open about her family life on social media, and regularly remarks on juggling her busy career with raising three young children
The McGill University graduate was recently named among the 50 most influential people in Canada by the luxury lifestyle magazine Bay Street Bull, and counts multiple television personalities and female entrepreneurs among her close friends.
She is understood to have taken Meghan under her wing when the then actress was living in Toronto while starring in suits.
The pair are so close Ivy was a flower girl at the royal wedding in May, while Brian and John were page boys given the special task of holding the bride’s train as she walked down the aisle in St George’s Chapel, at Windsor Castle.