Following Piers Morgan’s disparaging comments about Meghan Markle‘s recent mental health revelation, the Duchess of Sussex wrote a complaint to officials at British television channel ITV concerned that his view on the matter may adversely impact the country’s mental health discussions.
According to Variety, Markle wrote to ITV CEO Carolyn McCall on Monday and filed a formal complaint against Morgan, who she suggested may influence a person experiencing a psychological crisis or struggling with suicidal thoughts.
On Monday’s filming of Good Morning Britain, Morgan attacked Markle’s account of her experiences as a member of the royal family, casting doubt on the issues she said that led her and Prince Harry to distance themselves.
“Who did you go to? What did they say to you?” Morgan said. “I’m sorry, I don’t believe a word she said, Meghan Markle. I wouldn’t believe it if she read me a weather report.”
On Twitter, the broadcaster shared that he can handle the criticism and backlash he’s received as a result of his views on Markle in the name of free speech.
“Freedom of speech is a hill I’m happy to die on. Thanks for all the love, and hate. I’m off to spend more time with my opinions,” he wrote alongside a photo of former British prime minister Winston Churchill and a quote about free speech.
On Monday, I said I didn’t believe Meghan Markle in her Oprah interview. I’ve had time to reflect on this opinion, and I still don’t. If you did, OK. Freedom of speech is a hill I’m happy to die on. Thanks for all the love, and hate. I’m off to spend more time with my opinions. pic.twitter.com/bv6zpz4Roe
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) March 10, 2021
According to BBC, Morgan later elaborated on his statements and told media members outside of his home in London that he remains firm in his belief that Markle has been a blight to the royal family.
“I think the damage she’s done to the British monarchy and to the Queen at a time when Prince Philip is lying in hospital is enormous and frankly contemptible,” he said. “If I have to fall on my sword for expressing an honestly held opinion about Meghan Markle and that diatribe of bilge that she came out with in that interview, so be it.”
Morgan stormed off the set of Good Morning Britain on Tuesday after co-host and weatherman Alex Beresford rebuked Morgan’s comments, calling them “diabolical.” Beresford also mentioned Morgan’s tarnished friendship with Markle, as Blavity previously reported.
“I understand that you don’t like Meghan Markle. You’ve made that so clear a number of times on this program. A number of times. And I understand that you’ve got a personal relationship with Meghan Markle or had one and she cut you off. She’s entitled to cut you off if she wants to,” Beresford said.
Morgan later returned after a commercial break saying, “Sorry. You can trash me, mate, but not on my own show. See you later.”
U.K. media agency Ofcom launched an investigation into the broadcaster’s comments earlier this week following public outcry, per Variety. British tabloid The Sun reports that Morgan, who has worked at Good Morning Britain since 2015, left the show after ITV officials asked him to apologize on air, which he refused.
ITV has since released a statement confirming it has accepted Morgan’s resignation, CNN reports.
“Following discussions with ITV, Piers Morgan has decided now is the time to leave Good Morning Britain,” the statement read. “ITV has accepted this decision and has nothing further to add.”
Earlier this week, officials at Buckingham Palace responded to Markle’s account of experiencing racism and said that the “whole family was saddened” to discover the “full extent” of Prince Harry and Markle’s struggles as members of the royal family. Palace officials also said that the matter was being handled privately, Variety reports.