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Meghan Markle's "Suits" Costar Wendell Pierce Clarified His Comments Calling Her Oprah Interview "Insignificant"

"I didn't see the interview or know it was about her suicidal thoughts."

Posted on March 11, 2021, at 8:01 a.m. ET

Wendell Pierce, who played Meghan Markle's father on Suits, has clarified his comments about the Duchess of Sussex's recent interview with Oprah, saying that tabloids "twisted" and "manipulated" his words.

Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic

During an appearance on the UK's LBC radio station on Tuesday, Pierce said he believed Prince Harry and Meghan's interview was "insignificant" in the midst of the global devastation caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Ben Mark Holzberg / NBCUniversal

"Today 3,000 people are going to die in America from COVID," the actor said. "A couple of hundred people are going to die within this hour in the UK."

He went on: "The interview... For me, the first thing that came to my mind, was actually something that was very English, written by the bard Shakespeare: 'Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.'"

"It is quite insensitive and offensive that we are all complicit in this sort of palace gossip," Pierce said. "In the midst of so much death, I think it is insignificant."

The interview, which aired on Sunday in the US and Monday in the UK, included several shocking revelations about Meghan's experience as a member of the royal family, including the effect it had on her mental health.

Harpo Productions / Joe Pugliese / Getty Images

At one point, Meghan revealed she had contemplated suicide while pregnant with the couple's son, Archie, due to constant attacks from the British media.

"I just didn't want to be alive anymore," Meghan told Oprah.

"It wasn’t even, 'I don’t want to,'" she said later. "It was like, 'These are the thoughts that I’m having the middle of the night that are very clear … and I'm scared, because this is very real. This isn't some abstract idea."

Both Meghan and Harry went on to say that they were told they couldn't seek professional help for Meghan's mental health, because it would be a bad look for the monarchy.

Of course, Pierce's comments about his former Suits costar made headlines. But in a follow-up interview with Entertainment Tonight, he said tabloid media had "twisted" his words. He also admitted he didn't actually know Meghan had spoken about her mental health during the Oprah interview.

Rich Polk / Getty Images

"My comments were about the obsession around the royal family and it shouldn't take priority over the deaths of the pandemic," Pierce said. He added that he is currently living in Budapest, where the interview had not yet aired.

NBCUniversal

"I'm not into the royals and my point was we are all complicit in this whirlwind of royal obsession that feeds the tabloids while so much death is around us," Pierce said. "That's the wrong priority."

"I didn't see the interview or know it was about her suicidal thoughts," he went on.

"I ... would never demean a person's mental health," Pierce added. "My words were twisted. A classic tabloid trick. That was not the spirit of what I was saying."

The actor also addressed the headlines in a thread on Twitter, in which he accused the British press of "manipulating" his words and said he had personally reached out to Meghan to offer her his support.

I just discovered my words are being used as an attack. Well done British Press. Clarity: The British monarchy is archaic in my American eyes. If slavery, colonialism and apartheid didn’t educate you that they are racist, you failed history.

Twitter: @WendellPierce

I was fortunate to tell Meghan personally I wish her all the best. Predicting this hellacious maelstrom I also told her she would always have a friend in me. Because I had no interest in the interview doesn’t change that.

Twitter: @WendellPierce

"I never was interviewed by the Daily Mail and their story manipulated my words in a radio interview," Pierce said. "As I told Meghan, I support her and wish her all the best."

In no way am I insensitive to suicide. Unfortunately my family has suffered the pain of losing someone to suicide. I never was interviewed by the Daily Mail and their story manipulated my words in a radio interview. As I told Meghan, I support her and wish her all the best.

Twitter: @WendellPierce

Last week, another of Meghan's Suits costars — Patrick J. Adams — posted a series of impassioned tweets defending her character following accusations that the duchess had "bullied" members of her staff.

It sickened me to read the endless racist, slanderous, clickbaiting vitriol spewed in her direction from all manner of media across the UK and the world but I also knew that Meghan was stronger than people realized or understood and they would regret underestimating her.

Twitter: @halfadams

"Meghan Markle and I spent the better part of a decade working together on Suits," Adams wrote. "From day one she was an enthusiastic, kind, cooperative, giving, joyful and supportive member of our television family."

He went on: "It's OBSCENE that the Royal Family, whose newest member is currently GROWING INSIDE OF HER, is promoting and amplifying accusations of 'bullying' against a woman who herself was basically forced to flee the UK in order protect her family and her own mental health."

"This newest chapter and its timing is just another stunning example of the shamelessness of an institution that has outlived its relevance, is way overdrawn on credibility and apparently bankrupt of decency," Adams said.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international suicide helplines can be found at befrienders.org. You can also text TALK to 741741 for free, anonymous 24/7 crisis support in the US from the Crisis Text Line.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.

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