Serena Williams has Duchess Meghan’s back. The professional tennis player gushed over her longtime pal in the wake of criticism the latter received over her recent Wimbledon appearance, where she cheered the athlete on.
Williams, 37, told reporters at a Wimbledon 2019 conference on Thursday, July 11, that she was unaware of any current headlines slamming the Suits alum, also 37, over her security requests and attire during a July 4 match.
“I didn’t know there was negative media out there,” she said. “Any time I see her name attached to anything, I don’t read it.”
The My Life: Queen of the Court author went on to say that her experience with the humanitarian has been nothing but positive. “She couldn’t be a better friend to me. Low moments, high moments, she’s always there, and that’s all I want to be to her.”
The 23-time Grand Slam singles title holder previously acknowledged her friend’s presence at her second-round match against Kaja Juvan. “I knew she was there and it’s always exciting when she comes out to watch and support … tennis, so I was happy,” she said at another post-play conference on July 6.
Not everyone was as thrilled with Meghan’s outing at Wimbledon, however. Actress Tatum O’Neal slammed the former actress’ security guard’s request for a photo blackout during a Tuesday, July 9, appearance on Good Morning Britain.
“You’re now one of the people, you‘re a royal, you are not an actor,” the Oscar winner said. “To have a bodyguard muscle somebody out I just think is so tacky.”
O’Neal continued on to explain why Meghan’s actions bothered her so much. “It’s so upsetting to me, because if you think of Princess Diana and you think of how absolutely inclusive she was and she would never turn anyone away,” O’Neal concluded. “I just I had so much hope for Meghan. I wanted her to be the next Princess Diana and it just seems like it’s all about her and it’s really upsetting me.”
GDB cohost Piers Morgan also took issue with Meghan’s desire for privacy at the event. “You’re public people, all of you. In that moment you’re public people, stop your squealing about privacy, we don’t want to hear it,” he ranted. “If you want to be private, go back to America and live privately.”
Also drawing backlash was Meghan’s ensemble of choice, which was comprised of a sleek white blazer and blue jeans. U.K’s The Times reported that denim is frowned upon, with one Wimbledon Tournament official reportedly going so far as to call her a “nightmare.”
Wimbledon host All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club told Us Weekly in a statement that the royal wasn’t breaking any rules, however: “The AELTC was delighted to welcome her royal highness the Duchess of Sussex in a private capacity to the championships to watch her friend Serena Williams compete on No. 1 Court. … “Any suggestion that the duchess’s visit was anything other than a privilege is categorically not the view of the AELTC and she is always welcome to attend the championships.”