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Fact Check-Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, says she was not paid for the Oprah interview

Social media users have been sharing posts, which claim that Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, was paid $7 million for her recent televised interview with Oprah Winfrey. This claim is untrue: while the rights to air the interview were reportedly sold for millions, the production company behind the interview said the Duke and Duchess of Sussex did not receive payment.

The posts show a collage of photos of Prince Harry, Meghan and Oprah during the interview, and feature the text, “Hollywood actress gets paid $7,000,000 to complain to a billionaire talk show host about how becoming a princess made her a victim” (here , here , here).

The interview was produced by Oprah’s company Harpo Productions. It first aired on CBS on March 7, 2021, and was watched by at least 49 million people worldwide. The couple made accusations of racism, neglect and feuding inside the royal family (here , here , here).

Queen Elizabeth and her family later issued a statement in response to the interview, saying, “The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning. While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately” (here).

Chelsea Hettrick, a spokesperson for Harpo Productions, told Reuters via email, “We can confirm that there was no payment of any kind to Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex or any of their charities for the interview or licensing of footage.”

At the beginning of the interview Oprah says, “I just want to make it clear to everybody that […] you don’t know what I’m going to ask and there is no subject that’s off limits and you are not getting paid for this interview”, to which Meghan replies, “All of that is correct.” (see 2 minute 7 second mark here and 2 minute 15 second mark here )

The Wall Street Journal reported that Harpo Productions sold the rights to the interview to CBS Entertainment, part of ViacomCBS Inc., for $7-9 million (here). CBS did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

VERDICT

False. Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, said she was not paid to take part in an interview with Oprah Winfrey. The company that produced the interview also said there was no payment of any kind to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work www.reuters.com/fact-check .

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