After abruptly parting ways with his UK morning-show gig, Piers Morgan stands by his ongoing criticism of Meghan Markle.
To recap: Morgan parted ways with ITV’s Good Morning Britain on Tuesday, one day after his response to Markle’s interview with Oprah Winfrey resulted in more than 40,000 complaints from viewers and an investigation by UK regulatory commission Ofcom. (Markle herself reportedly filed her own complaint with ITV, not about the personal nature of Morgan’s attacks but the larger damage they could due to the public conversation about mental health.)
On Monday’s show, Morgan had referred to the well-watched sit-down as a “two-hour trash-a-thon of our royal family, of the monarchy, of everything the Queen has worked so hard for,” and suggested that Markle lied about having suicidal thoughts. (Morgan has since walked back the latter dig, saying on Tuesday’s GMB, “It’s not for me to question if she felt suicidal.”)
In the wake of his GMB exit, Morgan addressed the press outside his London home and defended his overall comments.
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“I believe in freedom of speech,” he said. “I believe in the right to be allowed to have an opinion. If people want to believe Meghan Markle, that’s entirely their right. I don’t believe almost anything that comes out of her mouth, and I think the damage she has done to the British monarchy and to the Queen, at a time when Prince Philip is lying in hospital [after open heart surgery], is enormous — and frankly, contemptible. So if I have to fall on my sword for expressing an honestly held opinion about Meghan Markle, and that diatribe of bilge she came out with in that interview, so be it.”
Morgan expressed similar resolve in a tweet on Tuesday night, writing: “I said I didn’t believe Meghan Markle in her Oprah interview. I’ve had time to reflect on this opinion, and I still don’t. If you did, OK. Freedom of speech is a hill I’m happy to die on. Thanks for all the love, and hate. I’m off to spend more time with my opinions.”
Morgan’s GMB exit came just hours after his comments were condemned on air by colleague Alex Beresford. The weatherman said that Morgan’s criticism of Markle was “diabolical,” prompting Morgan to walk off the set of the ITV morning show and never return.
WARNING: This clip contains flash photography.
Former Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan says 'I believe in freedom of speech' as he defends comments he made about Meghan. He adds 'the damage she has done to the monarchy is enormous'.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) March 10, 2021
If you’re thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s toll-free number: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)