SERENA Williams has praised her friend Meghan Markle as the “strongest person I know” and applauded her “class” in the bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey.
The 39-year-old opened up about why she chose to publicly support Meghan in an interview with Stuart Weitzman's Chief Marketing Officer Behnaz Ghahramani on Wednesday.
She hailed her longtime friend’s "strength, confidence, and selflessness" in the first episode of the brand's Shine Series.
Serena also claimed she was "tired of sitting back" and watching "another untrue allegation" being made against Meghan.
"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," the tennis pro said.
"And 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.
“I just think that she is the strongest person I know.”
Serena added that she didn’t believe that she could “handle anything 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," she continued.
"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."
The mother-of-one also spoke out about supporting her competitors despite being pitted against them on the court, People reports.
"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," Serena continued.
"Bold moves happen every day in all walks of life…you don't have to be a professional tennis player [or an] athlete. It can happen every single day for a lot of people."
Serena spoke out immediately after the March 7 interview between Oprah and Meghan and Harry to defend her friend’s character.
“Meghan Markle, my selfless friend, lives her life – and leads by example – with empathy and compassion,” she wrote in a tweet the following day.
“She teaches me every day what it means to be truly noble.
“Her words illustrate the pain and cruelty she's experienced."
Serena added: “The mental health consequences of systemic oppression and victimization are devastating, isolating and all too often lethal.
“I want Meghan's daughter, my daughter and your daughter to live in a society that is driven by respect.
“Keep in your memory the fruitage of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness, self-control.
“Against such things there is no law.”
The pair have been friends for years, and first met at the Super Bowl in Miami in 2010.
Meghan, 39, has frequently supported Serena at her tennis matches and watched the sports star battle Simona Halep in the women’s final at Wimbledon in July 2019.
Serena also planned Meghan's baby shower in New York City in February 2019, Harpers Bazaar reported.
The tennis pro was even mentioned by Meghan in the interview with Oprah when she and the host spoke about how they had both gone to see her play.
During the two-hour show, Meghan told Oprah she had contemplated taking her own life at the height of her crisis with the monarchy.
She also revealed there were "several conversations" about her son Archie's skin tone.
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