UK Media Regulator Clears Piers Morgan in Investigation Over Controversial Comments About Meghan Markle

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during their interview with Oprah Winfrey | CREDIT: JOE PUGLIESE/HARPO PRODUCTIONS

A U.K. broadcast regulator has cleared Piers Morgan in an investigation into his controversial comments about Meghan Markle‘s candid mental health admissions earlier this year.

Back in March, the 56-year-old TV personality left from his role at Good Morning Britain after receiving backlash for vehemently questioning the Duchess of Sussex’s credibility when it came to her discussing grappling with suicidal thoughts, which she opened up about in an interview that month with Oprah Winfrey alongside husband Prince Harry.

Meghan, 40, even made a formal complaint to ITV following Morgan’s on-air comments, PEOPLE previously reported.

In a decision published Wednesday, the Office of Communications (better known as Ofcom) cleared Morgan after an investigation, saying that the comments “did not breach the Ofcom Broadcasting Code” and they were uttered with “sufficient” context.

“The Interview between the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Oprah Winfrey contained serious allegations and it was legitimate for this Program to discuss and scrutinize those claims including their veracity,” Ofcom said. “Ofcom is clear that, consistent with freedom of expression, Mr. Morgan was entitled to say he disbelieved the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s allegations and to hold and express strong views that rigorously challenged their account.”

“The Code allows for individuals to express strongly held and robustly argued views, including those that are potentially harmful or highly offensive, and for broadcasters to include these in their programming,” they continued. “The restriction of such views would, in our view, be an unwarranted and chilling restriction on freedom of expression both of the broadcaster and the audience.”

Ofcom did, however, say they had concerns about Morgan’s “apparent disregard for the seriousness of anyone expressing suicidal thoughts,” though his co-hosts Susanna Reid and Chris Ship offered “extensive challenge” to his comments and balanced the discussion.

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SOURCE: PEOPLE, Benjamin VanHoose

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