Meghan Markle Admits She Judged Paris Hilton Before They Met

The Duchess had the socialite on her podcast, where she confessed she’d brought preconceived notions to the interview.

A photo of Meghan Markle, wearing a white outfit and hat
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Meghan Markle was scheduled for a cover for Variety’s Power of Women interviews, but her story was postponed due to the death of Queen Elizabeth. Today, it’s finally out—and while the Duchess of Sussex is diplomatic in the Q&A, she did share a bit about grief in the family, her experience interviewing other notorious women in media, and what it was like just after that Oprah interview dropped.

In her most recent episode of the popular Spotify podcast Archetypes, Markle interviews Paris Hilton. She told Variety it was one of her most challenging sit-downs because she realized how many preconceived opinions she had about the socialite.

“I told her [Paris Hilton] at the beginning that I was the most nervous about her interview,” said Markle. “I was embarrassed to admit it, but I’ve had a judgment about her that’s based on everything I’ve seen, and I don’t like to come from a place of judgment. But I also didn’t grow up pretty.”

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When the interviewer questioned the idea that the incredibly beautiful Markle did not grow up pretty, she insisted that she was “the smart one.”

Markle continued, “So much of what I ended up thinking about, when I thought about Paris, was envy and judgment—two of the most dangerous things. But then you hear about her trauma and her life and her buying into this persona. Ultimately, I told her, ‘I’m really sorry that I judged you.’ I wanted her to be safe and comfortable. I told her I wasn’t looking for a ‘gotcha’ moment. I want a ‘got you’ moment, where we get you.”

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Recounting the days after her bombshell interview with Oprah was released, Markle said she didn’t go out much due to being heavily pregnant. But she did end up attending Gloria Steinem’s birthday party a few days after the interview aired, thinking the fete would be a small lunch. Instead, it was a huge party.

“Walking into a room alone is never easy for me, and I remember feeling a bit uncomfortable,” Markle said. “But before I could let my uncertainty linger, Pamela Adlon came up to me and greeted me with such warmth and kindness. She toured me around the room, and at every turn, more generosity and love was felt... The power of sisterhood and female support can never be underestimated.”

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On another infamous interview from New York Magazine, Markle mentioned that she believed it was intended to promote Archetypes and other projects from the Archewell Foundation. There was quite a bit of backlash, however, as she was quoted criticizing the royal family for their alleged attempts to control herself and Prince Harry.

“Part of me is just really trusting, really open—that’s how I move in the world,” Markle told Variety of the experience. “I have to remember that I don’t ever want to become so jaded that that piece of me goes away. So despite any of those things? Onward. I can survive it.”

She also shared a bit about how she and Prince Harry are processing the loss of Queen Elizabeth, saying it gave them a “lot of perspective” and that they now feel “energized and excited” about their philanthropic work and other projects.

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She added, “I’m really grateful that I was able to be with my husband to support him, especially during that time. What’s so beautiful is to look at the legacy that his grandmother was able to leave on so many fronts. Certainly, in terms of female leadership, she is the most shining example of what that looks like.”

Markle then said that Harry shares that optimistic view on the tragedy, claiming the Queen is now “reunited with her husband.”