British Royal Family

Is this the end of Meghan Markle's friendship with Jessica Mulroney? Inside the Canadian stylist's fall from grace

Jessica has come under fire after being called out for white privilege.

By Jess Pullar
Jessica Mulroney came to global attention more than two years ago when her friendship with Meghan Markle was put front and centre of the world stage.
Yes, if you didn't notice Jessica - and her twin sons and daughter - in primo position at Meghan and Prince Harry's royal wedding on May 19, 2018, you likely would have noticed her in the months following as her close relationship with the newly minted Duchess of Sussex came to light.
Since then, it seems Jessica has been Meghan's right-hand woman through thick and thin, especially since the Sussexes infamous step back from their senior royal roles in January.
But over the past week, Jessica has seen a monumental fall from grace, and it's thrown her entire friendship with Meghan into question.

What did Jessica Mulroney do?

As the world reacted to the death of George Floyd, long-standing issues around systematic racism, white privilege, and police brutality has been brought to the forefront of our attention like never before.
The public furore has come with a very good reason - enough, quite frankly, is enough - and Meghan Markle herself has spoken out on the matter.
But while Meghan's now viral video has played out to the masses and received widespread admiration for her stirring, resonating words in support of all black lives, her best friend did something quite different.
Brought to light by influencer Sasha Exeter, the Instagram famous entrepreneur made an 11-minute video detailing how Jessica had taken her post, which called for people with large followings to shine light on racial inequality, as a direct dig at her.
Exeter claimed this was the case because Mulroney had not posted anything about the Black Lives Matter movement on her own, widely followed Instagram (with more than 390,000 followers at the time of writing).
Exeter alleged that Mulroney lashed out at her via social media, and even at one point threatened her.
Exeter explained: "I was very vocal about wanting my peers and folks with an online presence to speak out, stand up, and use their voice for good to help combat what's going on with this race war and what's happening to the Black community."
She continued: "One very prominent Canadian figure who used to be an acquaintance of mine named Jessica Mulroney took offense to a very generic call to action that I shared on my IG Stories. And what happened next was a series of very problematic behaviour and antics that ultimately resulted in her sending me a threat in writing last Wednesday, June the 3rd."
Jessica, a long-time friend of Meghan's was embroiled in a spat exposing white privilege. (Getty)
The model then explained that she took two issues with Jessica's approach to the matter.
"Jessica never wanted to stand up and use her voice in the first place and didn't understand why she needed to. This I found quite strange seeing that she is very vocal about supporting many causes and very open about everything else," she explained in the video.
"So how could she not be speaking up about this issue that's affecting everyone in the world? Also, her best friend is arguably one of the most famous Black woman in the world [Meghan]. I just didn't get it."
She then explained her second issue with Jessica: "I believe that she wrongly assumed that my generic call to action on my Instagram Stories was a direct and blatant call out to her. Maybe this is possibly showing her guilt for her lack of action and because of that, she began to lash out at me."
She also claimed Mulroney messaged her with the following: "I have also spoken to companies and people about the way you've treated me unfairly. You think your voice matters. Well, it only matters if you express it without shaming people who are simply trying to learn. Good luck."
Speaking of her own thoughts towards the message, Exeter said: "I think what makes this situation really horrendous is the threat or the claim that she was going ahead and speaking to brands and companies that I potentially have worked with, or are currently working with or could possibly work with.
"And that's a threat. That's a threat to my livelihood."
The Canadian stylist threatened Exeter, it is alleged. (Getty)

What did Jessica Mulroney respond to the accusations with?

After the damning video, Mulroney leaped into damage control.
She commented on Exeter's video, stating that "you are right when you say "this sh*t needs to stop". As leaders, we need to join hands and call out wrongs. I know we have different experiences. And that is something that, even in the course of a heated argument, I need to acknowledge and understand."
She continued: "I am unequivocally sorry for not doing that with you, and for any hurt I caused. As I told you privately, I have lived a very public and personal experience with my closest friend where race was front and centre. It was deeply educational. I learned a lot from that. I promise to continue to learn and listen on how I can use my privilege to elevate and support black voices."
But interestingly, the plot thickened when Exeter shared a screenshot revealing that Mulroney had threatened to sue her.
"After her public apology on my post yesterday, I received this via DM. Please take in the timestamp in green on the top left of the screen. Also, poor thing didn't even spell 'libel' correctly. Sigh."
Exeter shared this screenshot to her Instagram story. (Instagram)
When this came to light, Jessica issued a public statement on her social media platforms.
"As some of you may have seen, [Sasha Exeter] and I had a disagreement. She rightfully called me out for not doing enough when it came to engaging in the important and difficult conversation around race and injustice in our society."
"I took it personally and that was wrong. I know I need to do better."
She continued to say she recognised the wider issue was not about her, but about the black community being subject to discrimination and racism for far too long.
"I'm going to be stepping back from social media in the coming days and giving my microphone to Black voices by having them take over my account and share their experience."

What happened to Jessica Mulroney's TV shows and partnerships?

In the wake of the debacle, Jessica lost three key projects she's long worked on - three projects that have seen out her immense profile and propelled her into the spotlight.
Jessica's show, I Do, Redo was taken off air by CTV, with the network releasing the explosive statement: "Because recent conduct by one of our shows hosts, Jessica Mulroney conflicts with our commitment to diversity and equality, CTV has removed I Do Redo from all Bell Media channels and platforms effective immediately."
Then came her coveted stylist slot on Good Morning America.
The network shared the Tweet: "As Jessica Mulroney said last night, she is stepping away from her professional engagements and that includes Good Morning America. She will no longer appear on our show."
Cityline also cut ties with the host, who often appeared as a fashion expert on the program.
Later, Jessica responded to CTV's decision.
"The events that have transpired over the last few days have made it clear that I have work to do. I realize more than ever how being a white, privileged woman has put me far ahead of so many, and in particular those in the Black community," she Tweeted.
"I respect the decision of CTV and have decided to step away from professional engagements at this time. I'm going to take this time to reflect, learn, and focus on my family.
She continued: "I also want to take a moment and clarify that I have no intentions of pursuing any legal action. I was wrong and for that, I am truly sorry. I remain more committed than ever to support anti-racism efforts and will do everything in my power to right this wrong."

What does Meghan Markle think of the Jessica Mulroney scandal?

As a head-strong, passionate advocate for diversity and anti-racism, the scandal would no doubt have shaken the Duchess, as it would any person whose closest confidant is hung out to dry on the world stage for such actions.
According to an exclusive report by the Daily Mail, Meghan was "absolutely mortified" by the situation.
"Meghan is absolutely mortified that she's been dragged into this complete mess. She said Jessica is in no way a racist, but the way she handled the situation was tone-deaf and heartbreaking," they said to the publication.
Meghan has reportedly relied on Jessica for a number of years, but will this be the end of their friendship? (Getty)

Are Meghan Markle and Jessica Mulroney still friends?

According to the Mail, Meghan has relied on Jessica more than many people would ever know over the years - but will this be the last straw?
According to the same source, the Duchess can "no longer be associated with her".
"Meghan said friends reflect friends and because of what's at stake she can no longer be associated with Jessica, at least not in public. She has to do what she has to do in order to preserve her dignity and her own reputation," the source claimed.
As to whether this is true in the long run remains to be seen, but as is, it would be in the Duchesses best interests to disengage from any white privileged behaviour in any case - especially given how powerful her anti-racism message was last week.
See her full speech in the player below:

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