Assistant director on Suits defends 'kind, humble' Meghan Markle

‘Meg is still the sweet person I worked with’: Former Suits director leaps to Meghan Markle’s defense – blasting ‘ruthless’ media and gushing about the ‘kind, humble’ Duchess while sharing behind-the-scenes snaps from set

  • Derek Ursacki worked alongside Meghan, 39, as an assistant director on the set of Suits for five years, and recently spoke out to defend her on Instagram 
  • He insisted that she has been unfairly portrayed in a negative light, hitting out at the media for publishing ‘so many negative stories attacking her’ 
  • Ursacki insisted that Meghan was always ‘a pleasure to work with and was always kind with a huge heart’, adding that he knows ‘she has not changed’
  • The director and photographer also shared several on-set snaps, including photos of himself with Meghan, and several other Suits stars 
  • He is the latest in a line of celebrities and high-profile friends of the Duchess to speak out on her behalf in the wake of the Sussexes’ interview with Oprah
  • Meghan’s close friend Janina Gavankar said last week that the Sussexes have kept ’emails and texts’ to support their bombshell claims
  • The Queen released a statement on Tuesday in response to the interview, saying that the royal family was ‘saddened’ and ‘concerned’ by the allegations
  • Palace’s statement also said that ‘recollections may vary’ – a point that Janina, 40, firmly rejected, saying: ‘Though their recollections may vary, ours don’t’
  • Meghan’s former Suits co-star and on-screen love interest Patrick Adams launched an extraordinary attack on the royals ahead of the interview  

Another of Meghan Markle’s former Suits colleagues has leapt to her defense in a gushing Instagram post, praising the ‘kind, humble’ Duchess while hitting out at the ‘ruthless’ media’s ‘negative attacks’ on her. 

Canadian director and photographer Derek Ursacki, who is based in Toronto, paid tribute to the 39-year-old earlier this week in the wake of her bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, recalling the five years that they spent working together on the set of Suits – during which he served as an assistant director. 

Joining a long line of Meghan’s friends who have spoken out on her behalf in recent weeks, Ursacki shared several candid behind-the-scenes snaps from set, while writing: ‘I spent 5 years working with Meghan on Suits as an assistant director dealing mostly with cast. 

‘She was always a pleasure to work with and was always kind with a huge heart, easy going, humble even after the fame of the show and her popularity skyrocketed, so full of life, so giving, supportive and funny.’

Defense: A former assistant director on Suits has shared a gushing tribute to Meghan Markle in the wake of her bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey last weekend 

Speaking out: Derek Ursacki worked with Meghan, 39, for five years on the set of Suits, and he shared a glowing recollection of their time together, calling her ‘kind’ and ‘humble’ 

Ursacki, who is not known to be close friends with Meghan, went on to say that it ‘broke his heart’ to see the Duchess of Sussex opening up to Oprah, 67, about her struggle with suicidal thoughts and her battle with mental health issues. 

In her interview with Oprah, Meghan said she had been suicidal while in the royal family but claimed she received no help after speaking about her suffering. 

The Sussexes also alleged that a fellow unnamed royal had been worried about how dark their son Archie’s skin tone might be before he was born.

Meghan’s claim that someone in the monarchy raised concerns about Archie being ‘too brown’ was the most damaging allegation to come out of the broadcast, and caused untold damage to the Windsors’ reputation around the world. 

The Duke of Cambridge was the first royal to personally respond to the allegation during his first royal engagement since the Oprah interview, as he also revealed that he has not spoken to his brother since it came out but ‘will do’. 

Buckingham Palace said in a statement issued on Tuesday that the issues raised, especially over race, were ‘concerning’ and would be addressed by the Queen and her family privately.

Although Ursacki did not reference any of the other allegations made during the interview, he echoed the couple’s attacks on the media in his post, branding the press ‘ruthless’ while slamming the ‘negative’ coverage of Meghan and claiming that she has had to ‘live under constant attack’.  

‘The media has been so ruthless towards her with so many negative stories attacking her without really knowing what she is truly going through,’ he wrote. 

‘Until you walk a mile in someone’s shoes nobody should judge or make negative comments about anyone and nobody should have to live under constant attack and fear for their safety.’

Ursacki concluded his post with another gushing tribute to Meghan, writing: ‘In my heart of hearts I know Meg has not changed and is the still the sweet person I worked with for those 5 years. I wish her my very best and thank her for the many great memories I am fortunate and blessed to have had.’

The director accompanied the post with several behind-the-scenes images from his time on set, including a candid snap of himself and Meghan, who appeared to be dressed as her character Rachel Zane. 

Another image showed the then-assistant director chatting to the former actress on set, while a third snap captured him walking alongside Meghan and her on-screen love interest Patrick Adams – who himself spoke out in defense of the Duchess ten days ago, when he launched an extraordinary attack on the royal family. 

In a furious Twitter rant, the Canadian actor, who is now based in Los Angeles, accused the palace of ‘tormenting’ the Duchess of Sussex while describing the monarchy as ‘toxic, archaic, and shameless’.

Patrick, 39, who was born in Toronto, fired off an extraordinarily vicious rant against the royals on March 5 – three days before her interview with Oprah aired – insisting that his ‘powerful’ and ‘kind’ friend has been the subject of underhanded behavior on the part of the monarchy after reports were published that Meghan had ‘bullied’ several former staff members at Kensington Palace.

Team Meghan: Ursacki is the latest in a long line of friends and former colleagues to speak out in defense of the Duchess, including her on-screen love interest Patrick 

Furious: On March 5, Canadian actor Patrick launched an extraordinary attack on the royal family while defending Meghan against claims she had bullied staff at Kensington Palace

Close pals: Meghan’s close friend, actress Janina Gavankar, also hit out at the palace last week, while revealing that the Sussexes have ’emails and texts’ to back up their royal allegations  

Echoing the sentiments shared in Ursacki’s post, Patrick used several glowing adjectives to describe ‘kind, joyful and supportive’ Meghan, before detailing the struggle he says she faced when joining the ‘archaic and toxic’ royal family. 

‘She fell in love, moved to a new country, became a household name across the entire globe and began the difficult work of trying to find her place in a family dynamic that can at best be described as complicated and at worst, seemingly archaic and toxic,’ he wrote in the eight-tweet rant. 

It has since been reported that Buckingham Palace has ‘brought in an external legal firm’ to carry out an investigation into the claims that Meghan bullied royal staff. 

In an unprecedented move that will no doubt increase tensions between the Sussexes and the royals even further, palace staff have decided a third party should take the reins of the investigation, rather than the in-house inquiry first announced, according to The Sunday Times. 

And in another escalation of the standoff between the two parties, The Mail on Sunday revealed this weekend that Meghan has written to the palace demanding to see documents, emails or text messages relating to the bullying complaint against her. 

In the days after the bullying allegations were brought to light in The Times, and in the wake of Harry and Meghan’s explosive interview with Oprah, the two sides have been engaged in a furious war of words – which several of the Duchess’ high-profile friends have launched themselves into. 

Last week, Oprah’s best friend Gayle King – who attended Meghan’s New York baby shower in 2019 – doubled down on claims that the Duchess has ‘plenty of receipts’ to back up allegations made during the primetime sit-down. 

Her comment came just hours after Meghan’s close friend, actress Janina Gavankar claimed that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have ‘plenty of emails and texts’ to support the extraordinary and damaging accusations they made against the royal family. 

Meghan’s allies who queued up to fight back against the royals ahead of the Oprah Winfrey interview 

Meghan’s friends

Lindsay Jill Roth, who had Meghan as the maid of honour at her wedding, said ‘goodwill runs in her bones’. 

She wrote: ‘Meg’s M.O. has always been kindness; goodwill runs in her bones. I know this to be true after 22 years of very close friendship. I have seen firsthand how she treats her friends and their families, and her colleagues.

 ‘If she’s driving with you in the passenger seat, she will fling her right arm in front of you at the slightest bump in a gesture of love to ensure your safety. If you have a specific goal, she will help you get there, and your passions will become hers on your behalf.’   

Meghan’s make-up artist friend Daniel Martin posted a defiant poem about ‘light and love’ in defence of the Duchess.

It said: ‘Because she isn’t self centered, people can see the light in her. Because she does not boast of herself, she becomes a shining example. Because she does not glorify herself, she becomes a person of merit. Because she wants nothing from the world, the world cannot overcome her.’ 

Omid Scobie, a friend of the Duchess who wrote the Finding Freedom biography, said: : ‘I also understand anyone’s experience needs to be heard and like any responsible business there needs to be an investigation but at the same time this is an institution that remained silent about the allegations about Prince Andrew. It does feel we have a slightly uneven playing field here.’ 

Suits colleagues

The hit show’s executive producer Jon Cowan calling her a ‘warm, kind, caring person’.

He tweeted: ‘It’s also possible the Duchess of Sussex is a good person thrust into an unimaginable world. Having spent 3 years working with her in her pre-Duchess days, I saw a warm, kind, caring person. I know nothing of her current situation but she gets the benefit of the doubt in my book’.

Angela Harvey, who wrote for the show, tweeted: ‘I worked on a set in Toronto when Meghan was on Suits. The ADs, PAs, and other crew on my show who had also worked with her loved her. LOVED. Set dynamics being what they are… I do not believe this bullying narrative for a microsecond’. 

US commentators 

Meghan McCain

‘This is really interesting because it’s a very obvious oppo-dump on Meghan Markle, and one of the things she’s being accused of in her abuse is emailing staffers early in the morning. So I think that’s obviously ridiculous on a lot of different levels. 

‘Right now they’re trying to make Meghan Markle look really, really bad, including accusing her of wearing diamond earrings that were gifted her by the Prince of Saudi Arabia after Jamal Khashoggi was murdered.

‘And these are all facts that, I guess, known for many years – why are they coming out right now?  

Sunny Hostin 

‘I’m really shocked that rather than trying to mend this rift, rather than supporting Meghan and Harry who I think removed his wife and his family from England because of the terrible racial hatred that she was subjected to, and he didn’t want history to repeat itself after what happened to his mother with the media.

‘I’m just surprised that they haven’t tried to even apologise for not protecting her more, and instead do this. It says a lot, I think, about the workings of the Royal Family.’

Joy Behar

‘I love the British output of fiction, and history and mystery. It’s like this young woman versus the family that goes back to Henry VIII. ‘Off with her head’, that King. No wonder she calls them The Firm.

‘Did you ever see that movie or read the book by John Grisham, with Tom Cruise? If you go against The Firm, they will make your life misery. In that movie they will kill you. In the British monarchy, they will just make your life miserable – you’d better toe the line.

‘Look what happened to Diana, same thing, same thing. They do not like it when you go up against them. Andrew is their boy. This girl is not blood, and I’m not even sure about Harry, but that’s another story altogether. So I’m on Team Meghan Markle.’

Sara Haines

‘I don’t want to hear about any investigations that don’t involve Prince Andrew coming out of the Palace and his connections to Jeffrey Epstein and his affairs, or actions, with young girls and women. The fact that there’s silence there is also tacit consent. Until they investigate Prince Andrew, I don’t want to hear about it.’

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