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White House praises Meghan and Harry's 'courage' after Oprah interview

It's unclear whether President Biden watched, but other celebrities, including Maria Shriver and Serena Williams, weigh in on the couple's interview.


Sunday night's Oprah Winfrey interview of Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, and her husband, Prince Harry, was a huge ratings hit, with CBS reporting 17.1 million viewers, the largest primetime audience for any entertainment special since the 2020 Academy Awards. It's easy to see why -- the royal couple discussed racism, being cut off from royal money and security protection, and even a spat Meghan and the Duchess of Cambridge, aka Kate Middleton, had about Princess Charlotte's flower-girl dress. (You can watch the entire interview online -- here's how.)

While it's unclear whether President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden were among the millions of viewers, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked about the interview during Monday's daily briefing.

About 25 minutes into the briefing, a reporter mentions that he knows the Bidens are friendly with Prince Harry, and wonders if the first couple watched any of the interview, and what they thought if they did.

"Obviously, many of us caught the interview," Psaki replies, not confirming or denying that the Bidens were among those who watched. 

She went on to note that Meghan and Harry are private citizens at this point and that the administration would not be commenting further, but did address it in general terms.

"For anyone to come forward and speak about their own struggles with mental health and tell their own personal story, that takes courage," Psaki said. "And that's certainly something the president believes, and he's talked about the importance of investing in a lot of these areas that they're committed to in the future as well."

Psaki also reiterated that the US has a "strong and abiding relationship" with the British people, and a special partnership with the government of the United Kingdom, "and that will continue."

Other famous people were willing to speak out about the explosive interview.

Journalist Maria Shriver, herself raised in the Kennedy family and familiar with living life in the spotlight, was one of them.

"It's true what Meghan Markle told Oprah, we don't know what goes on in people's lives behind closed doors," Shriver said. "That's something we can all remember."

Actress Rosanna Arquette praised Harry for breaking free from his birth family.

"Prince Harry (cause he lives up to the title on every level ) walked away from everything to protect his family and make sure Meghan was truly safe and happy," Arquette wrote. "Now that is a real prince. Making their own living is not anything the royals have ever done before."

Tennis star Serena Williams called Markle "my selfless friend," and said the duchess' words, "illustrate the pain and cruelty she's experienced."

And while the Bidens may not have confirmed or denied watching the show, Vice-President Kamala Harris' niece, lawyer and author Meena Harris, tweeted numerous thoughts while the special was airing, including, "Oprah bout to fight somebody her damn self," and "HAPPY MEGHAN MARKLE APPRECIATION DAY."