Serena Williams has long been one of Meghan Markle’s staunchest defenders, throughout the onslaught of racist abuse and harassment the royal has faced. Williams wrote a letter of support for the Duchess of Sussex after her candid interview with Oprah Winfrey, in which she shared the racism she received from the royal family and the media, the lack of support she was given, and her mental health struggles. And in the premiere episode of Stuart Weitzman’s YouTube show Shine Series, the tennis GOAT reiterated her support for her friend, calling Meghan “the epitome of strength.”

Williams, the global spokeswoman for Stuart Weitzman, spoke with chief marketing officer Behnaz Ghahramani for the YouTube series, which comprises “conversations with inspiring figures about letting your strength shine through.” Reflecting on her friendship with the Duchess, Williams said, “Meghan is a great person and I think the epitome of strength, the epitome of confidence, the epitome of just selflessness, and the epitome of everything is just her and everything that she’s gone through.”

“I know it’s not easy, and you can see from the interview that it wasn’t easy. But she had so much poise and she still had so much class,” she continued.

“I just think that she is the strongest person I know. I don’t know anyone else that could handle everything on such a global scale the way that she’s had to handle things that are just untrue, minute after minute. Not even day after day, just minute after minute, another untrue allegation being thrown at her,” Williams said.

Reflecting on the letter of support she shared after the Sussexes’ interview with Winfrey, in which she praised her “selfless friend” Meghan and condemned “the sexism and racism institutions and the media use to vilify women and people of color,” Williams commented, “I think it was important for me to say something because I’m tired of sitting back and seeing all this negativity that’s just not true.”

She spoke, too, about supporting other women and the lessons she hopes to teach her daughter, Olympia. “I compete against women all the time. We can go tooth and nails, but it doesn’t mean we have that we have anything against each other,” she said. “I actually support you and I want the best for you.”

“I really just hope that I inspire Olympia and the next generation of girls to believe that anything is possible. And, mostly, to believe in themselves,” Williams said.

From: Marie Claire US

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