If you follow the Duchess of Sussex closely, you’re no doubt aware of stylist Jessica Mulroney, Meghan Markle’s BFF. Mulroney helped plan her wedding to Prince Harry (and her own kids were part of the ceremony); she also helped plan Meghan’s baby shower, and was an occasional caretaker for baby Archie in Canada. In other words, these two are close — or at least they were. Mulroney is facing swift and severe backlash after Black influencer Sasha Exeter came forward with a series of threatening messages she’d received from the stylist. Meghan has seen the unprovoked attacks Exeter posted, and she’s bewildered at Mulroney’s behavior and blatant deployment of white privilege.
As Exeter explains, she was first confronted by Mulroney after posting a call to action for white voices with a large platform to amplify the Black Lives Matter movement. In response, Mulroney defended her choice to remain silent on the matter and threatened Exeter’s brand partnerships, claiming she’d spoken negatively of Exeter to several companies already. Next, she publicly apologized — while privately messaging Exeter and threatening to sue.
Exeter herself points out the connection between Mulroney and Meghan Markle, who she rightly calls “one of the most famous Black women in the world.” Even beyond her status as a Black celeb and royal, Meghan has been vocal in her work to uplift Black communities and champion the Black Lives Matter movement. So, how can her best friend be coming from such a different place?
According to a source close to Meghan, the Duchess is having a tough time with these issues herself. The source told Entertainment Tonight that Meghan is hurt and embarrassed about this “painful” situation, and struggling to get past her anger at her long-time friend.
Meghan believes that Mulroney was “so tone deaf while using her privilege to bully Sasha Exeter,” the source explained, adding that Mulroney had privately reached out to Meghan about her “misguided and insensitive comments” this week already, though it’s unclear whether the conversation provided any resolution.
Since Exeter brought Mulroney’s actions to light, the stylist has had her her reality show I Do, Redo cancelled and she’s been removed from Good Morning America. In her video, Exeter explains why was so frightened and hurt by the stylist’s threats.
“Listen, I’m 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,” Exeter says. “And that, my friend, gave her the momentary confidence to come for my livelihood in writing. Textbook white privilege really, in my personal opinion.”
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I’ve been silent. Not anymore! I’m used to being so transparent on this platform. I think it’s the main reason why most of you follow me. Today, I’m opening up about something that has been haunting me for the last week. I have felt like a complete fraud fighting for racial equality and using my voice openly here, while letting a white woman silence mine behind closed doors. In sharing this very personal story, I know that I am risking a lot. Opening myself up to criticism, bullying and potential ramifications with my job in this space. However, I must speak my truth. Enough is enough. Hopefully my voice will be heard by many and help change things for the next generation and for my daughter Maxwell… because I will be dammed if my child ever has to deal with this level of ignorance.
Exeter also shared Mulroney’s message revealing she’d been actively working to damage the influencer’s reputation: “I have also spoken to companies and people about the way you’ve treated me unfairly. You think your voice matters. Well, it only matters if you express it without shaming people who are simply trying to learn. Good luck.”
“That’s a threat. That’s a threat to my livelihood,” Exeter repeats to her fans in disbelief. “And for her to threaten me, a single mom, a single Black mom, during a racial pandemic blows my mind.”
While Exeter knows she did nothing wrong, she still had serious doubts about coming forward, fearing backlash if and when Mulroney decided to cast herself as the victim. But ultimately, the idea of raising her kids in a better world convinced her to share her story.
“I’ll be damned if the next generation of Black women have to go through this,” Exeter says. Meghan Markle no doubt feels the same way — and if Mulroney wants to stay her close friend, she’s got some serious work to do.
Click here to see Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s complete relationship timeline.