Joshua Silverstein, who dated Markle when she was 13, praised his ex for speaking out against racism in the Royal Family and said the Royals have a “history of racism” that “goes back to the transatlantic slave trade” .
The now dad-of-three, said she had been “honest and transparent” during her bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, in which she spoke of racial bias in the Royal family towards her then unborn son, Archie.
Speaking on ITV’s Lorraine on Tuesday morning, May 18: “She got on Oprah and she was very honest and transparent with her experience with the Royal Family.
“There’s a history of racism that I’m sure you know in the royal family that goes back to the transatlantic slave trade.
“So the fact that Meghan was able to get on TV and bravely talk about that, is awesome.”
But viewers were quick to hit back, with one writing on Twitter: “Why have you just allowed somebody on your show to say that The British Royal Family are institutionally racist without asking him to back that up with facts?”
Another wrote: “Why are we being told how racist the UK is by some unknown person. Lorraine just agrees. No balance.”
Someone else added: “I can’t believe that interview with Megan’s first boyfriend. What was Lorraine playing at?
“She allowed him to accuse the royals as being racist of Megan telling truths in her interview with OW. She didn’t correct him once.”
Joshua, responding to the backlash, told Lorraine such criticism is typical “whenever people of colour speak out”.
He said: “Whenever people of colour speak out about oppression and racism, generally the public, there’s a huge backlash – the fact that she got up and spoke about that knowing it could create a lot of tension between her and her family I thought was amazing on her part.”
He added that change “cannot take place unless people are willing to have a conversation”.
“I think the more and more people begin to become honest with their role in oppression and privilege then we can move forward.
Joshua Silverstein said he and Meghan had dated as “kids” and stayed friends throughout high school after they broke up. He said: “Meghan was always a very strong, confident young person and it was very clear to me at the time at the time we were together that she had a very clear idea of where she wanted her path to take her.
“Of the moment they got together, he added: “I think as she told it she approached me, so I think that in itself was very attractive that a young person would have the confidence and gumption to walk up to me and tell me she thought I was attractive or anything like that.
“At the time we were together it’s what kids did, so she told her friends she liked me, I told my friends I liked her and then our friends met and we met and became boyfriend and girlfriend.”
“I think the unfortunate role of humanity is we want to pretend things are great. The more people can speak comfortably about pain and trauma, then healing can begin.”
During their interview with Oprah back in March, Harry and Meghan revealed the pressures they faced as senior royals saying there were conversations with Harry and a “family” member about their unborn son Archie and what colour his skin would be – and “what that would mean or look like”.