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Meghan Highlights Depression in Pregnancy, an Overlooked Danger

Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Meghan and Harry has clearly become a spark for international discussions about racism and the state of Britain’s royal family. And it has brought new attention to another issue as well.

Meghan’s revelation of her mental anguish during and after her first pregnancy, including thoughts of suicide so significant that she feared being left alone — and that the palace had been a barrier to the help she needed — sounded painfully familiar for many.

The experience of life-threatening pregnancy complications, mental as well as physical, is strikingly common. If it has not happened to you, it has almost certainly happened to someone you care about, though you may not know it.

Twitter was soon filled with people sharing their own stories of depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts during and after pregnancy.

2017 survey of 1,000 British women, nearly 50 percent of respondents reported experiencing a mental or emotional problem, but half of these had not had this problem identified by a health professional.

Meghan did not say whether she had been diagnosed with peripartum depression or any other condition. But experts increasingly advocate extending specialist care to women who experience serious distress during or after pregnancy, whether or not they fit a specific diagnosis.

“Some researchers have suggested that we should, rather than looking at particular diagnostic categories, refer instead to ‘perinatal distress’ to encompass the complexity of the difficulties experienced at this time,” Dr. Svanberg said.

The stakes, after all, are extremely high. Pregnant people risk stroke, hemorrhage, infection and other complications that can be deadly for parent and baby. But mental distress is one of the most serious risks of all. In developed countries, suicide “is a leading cause of death in the perinatal period (The leading cause of death in 2003),” Dr. Svanberg wrote.

Discussions of pregnancy and mental health often focus on pregnancy hormones’ effect on mood. But while that is a factor, there is substantial evidence that other stressors play a role as well — so much so that approximately 10 percent of fathers also experience postpartum depression.

four times higher than for white women, and studies have shown that medical workers tend to underestimate Black women’s pain during birth, which can deprive them of the medication and care they need.

The popular image of pregnancy as something happy and straightforward, troubled only by cute problems like wanting to put pickles on ice cream, or brief ones like a painful natural delivery, can mean that those who have more difficult pregnancies can face stigma and dismissal if they ask for help.

“At the root of barriers to maternal mental health care are gender stereotypes that promote the idea that women should be ‘self-sacrificing mothers,’ who ought to prioritize the purported needs of their families and children even over their own survival and well-being,” said Ms. Shah, who has worked on reproductive and maternity rights issues around the globe. “These stereotypes lead to stigmatization of health care for pregnant women or mothers who experience depression or anxiety, rather than only joy or contentment.”

“There is also an assignation of blame, that there must be something wrong in what we are doing if we are not feeling 100 percent,” Dr. Agarwal said. “Women are also made to feel guilty about being frail, overemotional and nervy.”

Although some in the British news media have criticized Meghan for claiming victimhood despite her wealth and privilege, many of those with more firsthand experience saw her story as a sign that these problems could happen to anyone, no matter the circumstances.

Ms. Molyneux said that she was moved to hear Meghan speak so frankly during the interview. “I felt a big wave of relief wash over me to see this incredibly accomplished person admit she’d had mental health struggles,” she said.

“For people who are less privileged than me, women in jobs where it’s less safe to admit you are struggling, they can point to this person who has wealth and privilege — a literal duchess — and say, ‘This isn’t my fault, it can happen to anyone, and I need help.’”

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Piers Morgan Departs ‘Good Morning Britain’ After Attacks on Meghan

Piers Morgan, who drew intense scorn in Britain for his upbraiding of Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, since her bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, resigned on Tuesday as an anchor for ITV news after storming off the set of the network’s morning show.

The host’s hasty departure from “Good Morning Britain” punctuated a turbulent 24 hours for Mr. Morgan, who inflamed viewers on Monday when he cast doubts about Meghan’s account to Ms. Winfrey that members of the royal household had discouraged her from seeking mental health treatment when she confided in them that she had had thoughts of suicide.

Mr. Morgan’s vociferous criticism of Meghan and her husband, Prince Harry, who Mr. Morgan said had orchestrated a “two-hour trash-a-thon of our royal family” in their interview, drew more than 41,000 complaints to Ofcom, Britain’s communications regulatory authority. The agency announced on Tuesday that it had opened an investigation into Mr. Morgan’s comments under its “harm and offence” rules.

Then, on Tuesday’s broadcast of “Good Morning Britain,” the strife came to a head when another co-host, Alex Beresford, admonished Mr. Morgan for his frequent sniping at Meghan. Mr. Beresford told Mr. Morgan that he had an ax to grind with Meghan because he previously had a rapport with her and she “cut you off.”

commentary about Meghan’s revelation that she had had suicidal thoughts.

“I’m sorry, I don’t believe a word she says, Meghan Markle,” Mr. Morgan said on Monday. “I wouldn’t believe her if she read me a weather report. The fact that she has fired up this onslaught against our royal family, I think, is contemptible.”

Before his abrupt departure from the show on Tuesday, Mr. Morgan stood by his previous comments questioning Meghan’s credibility.

“I still have serious concerns about the veracity of a lot of what she said,” Mr. Morgan said.

But on the subject of mental illness and suicide, the television host trod much more gingerly than he did on Monday.

“If somebody is feeling that way, they should get the treatment and the help that they need every time, and if they belong to an institution like the royal family and they go and seek that help, they should absolutely be given it,” Mr. Morgan said.

Mr. Morgan said he wasn’t disputing whether Meghan had thoughts of taking her own life.

“It’s not for me to question whether she felt suicidal,” he said. “I wasn’t in her mind, and that’s for her to say. My real concern was a disbelief, frankly, and I’m prepared to be proven wrong on this, and if I’m wrong it is a scandal, that she went to a senior member of the royal household, told them she was suicidal and was told she could not have any help because it would be a bad look for the family.”

Mr. Morgan said there should be repercussions if Meghan’s requests for help were dismissed.

“If that is true, A, that person, if they’re still there, they should be fired,” he said, “and, B, the royal family have serious questions to be answered about how they handled it.”

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Why Oprah’s Meghan and Harry Special Won’t Have a Streaming Home

Oprah Winfrey pulled off what has become a rare television event: the tell-all interview that turns into a cultural moment. On Sunday, an audience of more than 17 million watched bombshell revelations tumble out of the mouths of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry as they described their lives under the palace gaze in a two-hour CBS special that rivaled any of the royal dramas on the Netflix series “The Crown.”

Social-media discussion of the show has continued since the credits rolled, leaving many people who missed it wondering where they could stream it. For the next 30 days, the special will be available on CBS.com and the CBS app. But after that, it will not have a home on any streaming platform.

That’s because, from the start of negotiations, Ms. Winfrey’s company, Harpo Productions, the owner of the program, envisioned the special as something suited to a big broadcast network, three people with knowledge of the deal said. Harpo did not even attempt to sell the streaming rights to Netflix or Paramount+, the streaming platform owned by CBS’s parent company, ViacomCBS, the people said.

Harpo’s old-school strategy of avoiding subscription-video-on-demand services came about partly because of the complications presented by Ms. Winfrey’s deal to make programs for Apple’s streaming platform, AppleTV+, the people said. Ms. Winfrey’s AppleTV+ deal includes an interview series, “The Oprah Conversation,” which has featured Barack Obama, Dolly Parton and Mariah Carey. Another wrinkle was the roughly $100 million production deal that Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, and Prince Harry struck last year with Netflix, the people said.

do not require a subscription and consistently draw the largest audiences for live viewing. Harpo also liked the idea of appearing in the Sunday night slot after “60 Minutes,” the highly rated CBS News show where Ms. Winfrey was a special correspondent in 2017 and 2018, the people said.

As part of the $7 million deal, ViacomCBS won something valuable: the rights to broker international distribution on behalf of Harpo. The program aired Monday on ITV in Britain and will be available in more than 80 countries.

cut a deal with Ms. Winfrey to produce a documentary series about mental health that is scheduled to stream on AppleTV+.

Some industry observers were surprised by the CBS deal because of another corporate entanglement: Ms. Winfrey’s long relationship with Discovery Communications, the cable giant that invested in her cable network, OWN, over a decade ago. David Zaslav, Discovery’s intensely competitive chief executive, decided to continue the investment even after OWN experienced growing pains early on. The company now controls the network, which has become a ratings success. Discovery also recently launched its own streamer, Discovery+, where Ms. Winfrey hosts an interview series, “Super Soul.” (The company bought advertising time on the CBS special and provided a commercial featuring Ms. Winfrey.)

It turns out that digital television, originally meant as a convenient alternative to clunky cable, can be just as knotty and cumbrous as the business it’s trying to replace.

The morning after her interview with the Sussexes, Ms. Winfrey appeared on “CBS This Morning,” a program anchored by her close friend, Gayle King, where she presented extra material that didn’t make the special. CBS announced on Tuesday that it will show the special again Friday night at 8.

John Koblin contributed reporting.

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Oprah Winfrey, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Draw 17.1 Million to CBS

Since then, the rise of digital media and its infinite screen-time options have cut deeply into the might of the big broadcasters. As the viewing audience fractured, opportunities for must-see prime-time interviews became vanishingly rare. Even the biggest one-on-ones of recent years have lacked the drawing power of the specials from two decades ago and more. The audience of 17.1 million for Ms. Winfrey’s interview of Ms. Markle and Prince Harry matched the number of viewers who tuned in when Caitlyn Jenner revealed that she was transgender to Ms. Sawyer on a 2015 episode of ABC’s “20/20.”

The Sunday night special was unusual in that it was not overseen by a network news division. Ms. Winfrey’s company, Harpo Productions, produced it, and CBS paid at least $7 million to license the show, according to a person with knowledge of the arrangement. (The Wall Street Journal previously reported the figure.) The deal was also a gamble: It was taped after the network had bought the rights, according to two people with knowledge of how the show was made. During the interview, Ms. Winfrey said she had been trying to land the exclusive with the couple for about three years.

CBS emerged the winning bidder despite Ms. Winfrey’s rocky experience at “60 Minutes,” where she was a special contributor in 2017 and 2018. In a 2019 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Ms. Winfrey revealed that the show’s producers had criticized her delivery, saying she had “too much emotion” in her voice, even when she said her own name. (Ms. Winfrey has maintained a connection to the network through her good friend Gayle King, an anchor of “CBS This Morning,” and she appeared on that show Monday.)

Further complicating CBS’s attempt to get the big get was the thicket of media companies surrounding Ms. Winfrey and the former royal couple. Ms. Winfrey has her own cable network, OWN, and is a major part of the streaming platform AppleTV+. Recent episodes of Apple’s “The Oprah Conversation” have featured her interviews of Barack Obama, Dolly Parton and Mariah Carey.

Ms. Markle and Prince Harry, for their part, signed a multiyear deal with Netflix last year to make documentaries and other shows. They also signed on to make podcasts for Spotify and released the first installment on Dec. 29. It included guest appearances by Elton John, Tyler Perry and other celebrities, as well as the first public utterance from their son, Archie.

The pact between CBS and Harpo Productions was largely focused on TV rights. The interview ran live on ViacomCBS’s newly rebranded streaming service, Paramount+; but at least for now it will not be available on Paramount+ for on-demand viewing. Instead, the special will be available on CBS.com and the CBS app for 30 days, a CBS spokesman said.

Originally slotted for 90 minutes, it ended up a two-hour show. Before the broadcast, CBS released teaser clips, and British tabloids that have been unfriendly to Ms. Markle shot back with anonymously sourced items on her apparent misdeeds.

The estimate of 17.1 million viewers will only grow after Nielsen tabulates some viewers who streamed the special, as well as out-of-home viewing.

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What We Learned From Meghan and Harry’s Interview

Prince William was barely mentioned in the interview, but when he did come up, Harry said that their “relationship is space, at the moment.”

More than once, both Harry and Meghan drew distinctions between the queen and the rest of the royal family. They told stories of interacting with her during their time in London and after stepping back from their roles as senior royals. There was a decipherable shift in tone, however, when discussing others, particularly William; his wife, Kate Middleton; and Charles.

The tabloid stories came one after the other, Meghan said: About her diva-like behavior, about how she had bullied her staff, about her supposed rift with her sister-in-law, Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge.

Not only were they not true, Meghan said, but the royal family did nothing to correct them.

She came to understand, she said, that the royal family was “willing to lie to protect other members of the family, but they weren’t willing to tell the truth to protect me and my husband.”

In a particularly resonant example, she said, the tabloids reported, long after her wedding, that she had made Kate cry before the lavish event over the bridesmaid’s dress that Kate’s daughter was meant to wear. In fact, Meghan said, it was Kate who made her cry.

Kate apologized and sent her flowers, Meghan said. But when the tabloid reports came out, no member of the royal family made an effort to correct the record.

“I’m talking about things that are super artificial and inconsequential,” Meghan said. “But the narrative about, you know, making Kate cry, I think was the beginning of a real character assassination. And they knew it wasn’t true.”

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How to Watch Meghan and Harry Interview in California

The two-hour interview conducted by Oprah Winfrey with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle aired first on the East Coast on Sunday night.

Now, it’s the West Coast’s turn to enjoy the beautiful Santa-Barbara-adjacent setting and two hours of frank conversation. Here’s how you can watch:

  • You can also sign into a CBS app on your Apple TV or Roku, if you are a cable customer and can sign in with the cable provider’s credentials.

  • Here’s one way lots of people have successfully reported watching it: the new Paramount+ streaming service. It has a free one-month trial! That you can activate right now! Perhaps, arriving for Oprah, you will be tempted by the other offerings. Or perhaps you will cancel.

  • YouTubeTV subscribers, and subscribers to full packages like Hulu+ Live TV, should be able to watch through CBS directly as well.

And then! For once, England is getting the royal news last. The interview will be broadcast on ITV in Britain on Monday at 9 p.m.

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Meghan Recounts Conversations About Archie’s Skin Tone

Oprah seemed genuinely shocked by the revelation: Meghan offering a secondhand account of conversations Harry had had with his family on the subject of their then-unborn first child’s skin tone.

During the two-hour prime-time interview with Oprah that aired on Sunday on CBS, Meghan referred to them as “concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be.”

Harry had been party to “several conversations” with “family” on the topic, said Meghan.

“About how dark your baby is going to be?” asked Oprah.

“Potentially,” said Meghan, “and what that would mean or look like.”

She declined to name anyone on the other side of the conversation: “I think that would be very damaging to them.”

royal wedding with all the trappings (plus some new ones, like a sermon from a Chicago-born Black bishop) was heralded by many as a sign the royal family was tip-toeing toward modernization.

Why, Oprah had asked Meghan, did the royal family express reluctance to eventually grant Archie, the grandson of the future sovereign, the title of “prince”?

“Do you think it’s because of his race?” Oprah asked.

Meghan’s answer left little doubt of her assessment.

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Meghan Says Life With the U.K. Royals Almost Drove Her to Suicide

A year after Meghan Markle married Prince Harry in a fairy-tale wedding, she said in an interview broadcast on Sunday night, her life as a member of the British royal family had become so emotionally unbearable that she contemplated suicide.

At another point, members of the family told Meghan, a biracial former American actress, and Harry that they did not want the couple’s unborn child to be a prince or princess and expressed concerns about how dark the color of the baby’s skin would be.

The disclosures, made in an eagerly anticipated interview on CBS with Oprah Winfrey, were the most incendiary by Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, 39, who married into the House of Windsor and discovered less of a fairy tale than what she described as the cruel loss of her freedom and identity.

“I was ashamed to have to admit it to Harry,” Meghan said of her suicidal thoughts. “I knew that if I didn’t say it, I would do it. I just didn’t want to be alive anymore.”

the wounds from that rupture have yet to heal.

On both sides of the Atlantic, it was the most eagerly anticipated royal interview since Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, told the BBC in 1995 that “there were three of us in this marriage,” referring to her husband, Prince Charles, and his extramarital relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles, whom he later married.

Martin Bashir, she said the palace viewed her as a “threat of some kind.”

A vivid bookend to her turbulent years in the royal family, Diana’s interview was a pop-cultural moment that drew one of the largest British television audiences in history, lived on in parodies on “Saturday Night Live,” and deepened the media’s fathomless hunger for all things Diana. Two years later, she was dead in Paris, the victim of a car crash after a high-speed chase with photographers.

a ravenous tabloid press fed a diet of falsehoods by jealous palace courtiers.

Even Meghan’s choice of wardrobe seemed calculated to telegraph the message of a new start. Her elegant black dress, designed by Giorgio Armani, featured a striking lotus flower design that her staff said symbolized revival and a will to live. She also wore a diamond tennis bracelet that once belonged to Diana.

But the couple’s effort to relaunch their public image did not go unchallenged back home. In the days leading up to the broadcast, new allegations surfaced that Meghan had bullied members of her staff, reducing junior aides to tears and driving two personal assistants out of the palace. Meghan dismissed the claims as character assassination, while Buckingham Palace said it would look into them.

“What is going on is a significant struggle for the control of the narrative,” said Peter Hunt, a former BBC royal correspondent. “What is our settled judgment for why Harry and Meghan left the royal family? Do we accept two hours of Oprah or do we believe those charges of bullying?”

Meghan has no shortage of defenders. Patrick J. Adams, an actor who worked with her on the television series, “Suits,” described her on Twitter last week as having “a deep sense of morality and a fierce work ethic.” The royal family, Mr. Adams said, was “obscene” to promote accusations of bullying against her.

Critics have long detected a whiff of racism in how some people react to Meghan, a biracial professional woman who had been divorced before she met Harry. While initially rapturous in their coverage of the couple, Britain’s tabloids turned against them, publishing unflattering articles about how they flew on carbon-spewing private jets and restricted access to their newborn son, Archie.

Some also point out the hypocrisy of Buckingham Palace investigating claims of bullying against Meghan when Prince Andrew, the queen’s second son and Harry’s uncle, has declined to speak to American authorities about allegations of sex trafficking by his late friend, the convicted sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein.

Though British papers have covered every conceivable angle of the interview, some made clear there were limits to the interest it was generating. The Sunday Times of London reported that the queen herself had no plans to watch the program, which is quite predictable, since it will air after midnight London time. It will be shown on Monday evening on Britain’s ITV network.

Others in Britain tried to play down its significance, pointing out that there are other more important things going on in the country: Schools are to reopen on Monday, and the coronavirus vaccine rollout continues at full speed. At least one prominent British leader said he had no plans to stay up for it.

“Of course, I’m interested in all sorts of stuff around the news around the world,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Sunday, when asked about Harry and Meghan. “I think it’s quite late our time, so I’ll probably miss it.”

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How to Watch the Harry, Meghan and Oprah Interview

When Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, present their side of a sensational royal rupture to Oprah Winfrey from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern on Sunday night, it is sure to be one of the most anticipated, and most heavily spun, television interviews in recent memory.

CBS and Oprah Winfrey’s company, Harpo Productions, have stoked expectations for the two-hour prime-time program airing on CBS and CBS.com, which will be broadcast in Britain on Monday night by the ITV network, with peekaboo excerpts that show her seated with Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, in a relaxed outdoor setting, but offer only glimpses of what they are talking about.

“Were you silent or were you silenced?” Ms. Winfrey asks at one point, as Meghan looks at her but says nothing. “You’ve said some pretty shocking things here,” she says at another, as dramatic music wells up.

Harry, who will join Meghan for the second half of the interview, appears briefly in an excerpt to say, “My biggest concern was history repeating itself.” That is an apparent reference to the fate of his mother, Princess Diana, who was killed in a car accident in Paris in 1997 after a high-speed pursuit involving photographers.

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