Meghan Markle defended by Ben Shephard in clash with Bower
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The Duchess of Sussex met Mr Trump when she was recording the second season of the US game show Deal or No Deal, Mr Bower has claimed in his newly published book. And, unlike some of her colleagues, she “rejected” the invitation of the then New York-based tycoon to “visit his golf courses”, the author wrote.
Writing in his biography of the Duchess titled Revenge: Meghan, Harry and the War Between the Windsors, Mr Bower claimed: “As ever in Hollywood, sexy young women attracted rich and powerful men.
“Among the visitors welcomed to the studio was Donald Trump.
“On the set between takes, the New York businessman handed out his card and invitations to visit his golf courses.
“Some girls accepted and would later say that Meghan not only rejected Trump but all the other invitations.”
Citing Meghan and Harry’s unauthorised biography by Carolyn Durand and Omid Scobie, Finding Freedom, Mr Bower reported one of the other actresses working on the set saying that, when she was a cast member of the game show, the now Duchess preferred to focus on prospective jobs rather than going out after filming.
The biographer wrote: “Leyla Milani, one of the other girls, would assert that Meghan never went out after the shows, but read scripts for auditions.”
However, Mr Bower also reported a claim he said “contradicted” Ms Milani’s recollection, writing that Hollywood producer Brett Ratner claimed the now Duchess was one of the “frequent guests” at his parties in the mid-2000s.
At the time, Meghan was in a serious relationship with producer Trevor Engelson, who became her first husband in 2011.
Meghan joined the cast of NBC’s Deal or No Deal between 2006 and 2007 as Briefcase Model #24.
Alongside Ms Milani, another fellow suitcase girl spoke very positively about Meghan.
In an interview with Gold Coast Bulletin, Lisa Gleave – who appeared on the show between 2005 and 2009 – described Meghan as “quiet but very sweet”.
She added: “I remember her being very focused on her acting career and her role as a briefcase beauty, as we were called, was just a stepping stone in her career.”
Meghan spoke about her experience in the game show in 2013.
She told Esquire magazine: “I would put that in the category of things I was doing while I was auditioning to try to make ends meet.”
Meghan’s reported meeting with Mr Trump took place a decade before he was elected US President.
As an established actress and cast member of the TV series Suits, Meghan publicly spoke against Mr Trump in 2016, prior to his victory on the ballot.
Appearing on The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, she said: “Yes, of course, Trump is divisive.
“Think about female voters alone, right? I think it was in 2012 the Republican Party lost the female vote by 12 points … That is a huge number, and with as misogynistic as Trump is, and so vocal about it, that is a huge chunk of it.”
Since becoming a member of the Royal Family in May 2018, Meghan did not openly voice her views on Mr Trump.
Since stepping down as a working royal in the spring of 2020 alongside Prince Harry, the Duchess has become more vocal about issues close to her heart, including paid parental leave, abortion rights and voter registration.
In the summer of 2020, ahead of the presidential elections in the US which saw Mr Trump losing against Joe Biden, Meghan joined forces with feminist Gloria Steinem and cold-called Americans to urge them to vote.
In August two years ago, the Duchess also took part in the When We All Vote video event to speak about the importance to cast the ballot.
And a few weeks before the vote, Meghan was joined by Prince Harry in a video filmed for Time 100.
In it, the Duchess called the 2020 presidential elections in the US “the most important of our lifetime” and the Duke urged Americans to “reject hate speech, misinformation and online negativity”.
While the pair were accused by critics of breaching the Royal Family’s rule of political impartiality, a spokesperson for the Sussexes said at the time their remarks did not refer to any specific political party or candidate, but were instead “a call for decency”.
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