Deal or No Deal ‘briefcase girl’ hits back at Meghan Markle’s claim

Meghan Markle mocked over stint on US Deal or No Deal

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Meghan Markle’s remarks on her Deal or No Deal stint have been considered “insulting” by a fellow ex-briefcase model on the game show, Lisa Gleave. The American-Australian TV personality is one of the former colleagues of the Duchess of Sussex on the NBC’s show to have voiced their opinions on the comment made by Prince Harry’s wife at the beginning of the sixth episode of her podcast series Archetypes.

Ms Gleave argued without her Deal or No Deal appearance, the Duchess may have had a completely different career and life.

She told the Daily Mail: “She was a struggling actress and I think if it wasn’t for Deal Or No Deal she probably wouldn’t be where she is now. She might not have met Harry, she might not have been cast on Suits.”

The now Duchess of Sussex appeared in 34 episodes of the game show between 2006 and 2007, at a time when she was trying to make a name for herself as an actress.

Speaking about the experience in the recently-released episode, which focused on the “bimbo” label, Meghan said she was thankful to the show for providing her with a steady paycheque and health insurance, but ended up quitting the show because she was not happy about the way it made her feel.

She told her audience: “Which was not smart. And by the way I was surrounded by smart women on that stage with me but that wasn’t the focus of why we were there.

“And I’d end up leaving with this pit in my stomach knowing that I was so much more than what was being objectified on the stage.

“I didn’t like feeling forced to be all looks and little substance. And that’s how it felt for me at the time. Being reduced to this specific archetype.”

The Duchess had also recalled how much attention was put on her appearance, saying: “We were even given spray tan vouchers each week, because there was a very cookie-cutter idea of precisely what we should look like, it was solely about beauty and not necessarily about brains.”

Ms Gleave worked on Deal or No Deal throughout all of its seasons from 2005 to 2009 and described the experience as a “great career move”.

She added she never “looked at it as a show that objectified women”, while acknowledging the game show “revolved around beautiful women”.

Nevertheless, Ms Gleave continued, “nobody treated us like bimbos”, and the grooming required to the briefcase models – including bra padding, spray tans and hair extensions – was “like a uniform that we had to wear”.

Ms Gleave isn’t the only ex-briefcase model who shared the Deal or No Deal stage with Meghan to have spoke up about their own experience.

Real Housewives of Atlanta star Claudia Jordan took to her Instagram Stories after Spotify released the sixth episode of Archetypes to stress the models were “never treated” like bimbos and that many opportunities came to the models because of their appearance on the show.

After leaving the game show’s set, Meghan went on to make a number of appearances in established TV shows, including CSI: Miami and Fringe, as well as playing roles in films, including Horrible Bosses.

The Duchess eventually landed a prominent role in the US legal drama Suits, and played Rachel Zane from 2011 to 2018. She left acting before tying the knot with Prince Harry and, in a recent interview with Variety magazine, said she doesn’t have the intention to resume that career.

While Meghan’s recent remarks on her previous job received a lot of media attention, it wasn’t the first time she had expressed her feelings on her stint on the game show.

During an interview with Esquire in 2013, the then Suits actress said: “I would put that in the category of things I was doing while I was auditioning to try to make ends meet.

“I went from working in the US Embassy in Argentina to ending up on Deal. It’s run the gamut. Definitely working on Deal or No Deal was a learning experience, and it helped me to understand what I would rather be doing.

“So if that’s a way for me to gloss over that subject, then I will happily shift gears into something else.”

Meghan also recalled having to stand up “in these terribly uncomfortable and inexpensive five-inch heels” while waiting for her number, 24, to be chosen by the game contestants.

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