JASON Knauf is said to be at the heart of the allegations claiming Meghan Markle bullied staff during her time at Kensington Palace.
The accusations have been strongly denied by a spokesman for the Sussexes.
🔵 Read our Meghan and Harry live blog for the latest updates
Who is Jason Knauf?
Knauf was the communications secretary for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at the time the allegations were made.
He is said to be the person who submitted the bullying allegations to the HR department in October 2018.
The claims were raised to HR in a bid to get Buckingham Palace to protect the staff that Knauf alleged were coming under pressure from the Duchess.
Claims say Knauf emailed Prince William’s private secretary Simon Case after raising bullying concerns with Samantha Carruthers, the head of HR.
Case, who is now Cabinet Secretary, then forwarded it to Carruthers, who was based at Clarence House, The Times states.
In his email which has only just emerged, Knauf apparently says Carruthers “agreed with me on all counts that the situation was very serious”.
He was said to have written: “I remain concerned that nothing will be done.”
The newspaper claims that other sources said they were concerned that there was no investigation or attempt to protect the staff from being bullied by Meghan.
A source told The Times that Prince Harry had pleaded with Knauf not to pursue the bullying allegations.
Lawyers for Meg and Harry deny that any meeting took place or that the Duke would have interfered with any staff matter.
A month after reporting the allegation of bullying, Knauf handed in his notice.
He took up a job as an adviser to Prince William in March 2019 when Harry and Meghan left Kensington Palace.
Knauf is now chief executive of the Cambridges’ Royal Foundation.
What has he accused Meghan Markle of?
Meghan Markle is said to have driven two personal assistants out of the household and undermined the confidence of a third.
A spokesman for the Sussexes said they were the victims of a calculated smear campaign based on misleading and harmful misinformation.
The couple’s spokesman claimed the duchess was “saddened by this latest attack on her character, particularly as someone who has been the target of bullying herself and is deeply committed to supporting those who have experienced pain and trauma”.
More sources told The Times a “febrile” atmosphere existed at Kensington Palace when Meghan and Harry lived beside William and Kate.
Staff were said to be occasionally reduced to tears.
And one aide, fearing a confrontation with Meghan, apparently told a colleague: “I can’t stop shaking.”
Two senior members of staff have claimed that they were bullied by the Duchess.
And another ex-employee alleged they had been personally “humiliated” by Meghan.
The former worker also said two other members of staff had been bullied.
Another aide said Meghan’s behaviour felt “more like emotional cruelty and manipulation, which I guess could also be called bullying”.
The Times report that Knauf wrote in his email: “I am very concerned that the Duchess was able to bully two PAs out of the household in the past year. The treatment of X was totally unacceptable.”
He added: “The Duchess seems intent on always having someone in her sights. She is bullying Y and seeking to undermine her confidence.
“We have had report after report from people who have witnessed unacceptable behaviour towards Y.”
The email sent to the HR department also expressed concern about the stress felt by the couple’s private secretary Samantha Cohen.
It concluded: “I questioned if the Household policy on bullying and harassment applies to principals.”
One source said: “I think the problem is, not much happened with it. It was, ‘How can we make this go away?’, rather than addressing it.”
Another source told the newspaper: “Senior people in the household, Buckingham Palace and Clarence House, knew that they had a situation where members of staff, particularly young women, were being bullied to the point of tears.
“The institution just protected Meghan constantly. All the men in grey suits who she hates have a lot to answer for, because they did absolutely nothing to protect people.”
Two of the people named in his email are said to feel that nothing has been done to investigate the bullying claim, the paper says.
The spokesman for the Sussexes gave a statement reported by The Times that reads: “Let’s just call this what it is — a calculated smear campaign based on misleading and harmful misinformation.
"We are disappointed to see this defamatory portrayal of The Duchess of Sussex given credibility by a media outlet.
"It’s no coincidence that distorted several-year-old accusations aimed at undermining The Duchess are being briefed to the British media shortly before she and The Duke are due to speak openly and honestly about their experience of recent years.”
Why has he quit Prince William and Kate Middleton's foundation?
Jason has quit the Prince William and Kate Foundation for "personal reasons" after accusing Meghan Markle of bullying.
Jason Knauf left his role as CEO of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s Royal Foundation after seven years of service.
It is believed he left his role because his husband has taken up a diplomatic position overseas.
A source told royal reporter Jack Royston that Knauf "left for personal reasons" after his partner took a job abroad.
Knauf said his time working with Kate and William was the "privilege of his career".
Source: Read Full Article