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A TV show pulled and a public apology: Why everyone's talking about Meghan Markle's best friend.

If you had Googled 'Jessica Mulroney' last week, you would have found many articles about the fashion expert who styles a Canadian first lady and is best friends with royalty.

Now, the 40-year-old is in the news for a far more serious reason.

This week, Mulroney stepped back from her social media platform and has been dropped by a number of networks and brands after Canadian blogger and influencer, Sasha Exeter, shared that she had been subject to "a series of very problematic behaviours" from the TV star and stylist.

Here is everything you need to know about this evolving story.

Who is Jessica Mulroney?

Jessica Mulroney, née Brownstein, is a Canadian fashion- and wedding stylist who previously hosted styling segments on US morning show Good Morning America.

Mulroney is also a close friend of Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, who she met while styling Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, former TV host and wife of Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau.

Mulroney is married to Ben Mulroney, the son of former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.

Why is Jessica Mulroney in the news?

On June 11, Canadian blogger and influencer, Sasha Exeter, posted an IGTV video titled 'My Amy Cooper Experience' on Instagram.

In the 12-minute video, Exeter detailed how Mulroney, a former acquaintance, contacted her after she posted a general callout on her Instagram about the importance of high-profile figures, including herself, using their platforms to support the Black Lives Matter movement and the global protests sparked by the death of George Floyd.

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According to Exeter, the private exchange between herself and Mulroney took place on June 3 and began because Mulroney assumed the callout was directed towards her.






View this post on Instagram









I’ve been silent. Not anymore!⁣ ⁣ I’m used to being so transparent on this platform. I think it’s the main reason why most of you follow me. Today, I’m opening up about something that has been haunting me for the last week. I have felt like a complete fraud fighting for racial equality and using my voice openly here, while letting a white woman silence mine behind closed doors. In sharing this very personal story, I know that I am risking a lot. Opening myself up to criticism, bullying and potential ramifications with my job in this space. However, I must speak my truth. Enough is enough. Hopefully my voice will be heard by many and help change things for the next generation and for my daughter Maxwell... because I will be dammed if my child ever has to deal with this level of ignorance.

A post shared by  SoSasha (@sashaexeter) on

"What happened next was a series of very problematic behaviours and antics that ultimately resulted in [Mulroney] sending me a threat in writing," Exeter said.

"[The messages] ended in her saying, 'I have also spoken to companies and people about the way you treated me unfairly. You think your voice matters. Well it only matters if you express it with kindness and without shaming people who are simply trying to learn. Good luck.'

"I am by no means calling Jess a racist. But what I will say is this: she is very well aware of her wealth and her perceived power and privilege because of the colour of her skin. And that, my friends, gave her the momentary confidence to come for my livelihood, in writing."

Exeter went on to compare Mulroney's behaviour to that of Amy Cooper, the white woman who threatened a black man, Christian Cooper, in May by calling the police on him while both were walking through the Ramble in New York City’s Central Park.

"Not only is Jessica very well aware of her white privilege, but just like…Amy Cooper, she spewed out that threat so effortlessly. But I think what makes the situation really horrendous is the threat or the claim that she was going ahead and speaking to brands and companies that I potentially have worked with or am currently working with or could possibly work with.

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"That’s a threat to my livelihood. For her to threaten me, a single mum, a single Black mum, during a racial pandemic, blows my mind. It is absolutely unbelievable."

What happened next?

Initially, Mulroney posted a comment on Exeter's video that read:

"@sashaexeterr, you are right when you say 'this shit needs to stop'. As leaders, we need to join hands and call out wrongs. I know we have different experiences. And that is something that, even in the course of a heated argument, I need to acknowledge and understand. I am unequivocally sorry for not doing that with you, and for any hurt I caused. As I told you privately, I have lived a very public and personal experience with my closest friend where race was front and centre. It was deeply educational. I learned a lot from that. I promise to continue to learn and listen on how I can use my privilege to elevate and support black voices."

The next day, Exeter posted an Instagram story of an alleged screenshot showing a direct message from Mulroney threatening her with a libel lawsuit.

Image: Instagram/@sashaexeter. 

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A day later, on June 12, the CTV network announced it was pulling Mulroney’s TV show, I Do, Redo, from all of parent company Bell Media's channels and platforms, effective immediately. 

In a statement, the network wrote, "Bell Media and CTV encourages our entire team including our on-air talent to practice respect, inclusivity, and allyship as we pledge to work better and more openly to listen to and amplify Black voices, and not to minimise them."

Mulroney was also relieved of her role as the face of bridal brand Kleinfeld Canada and department store Hudson's Bay, as well as being dropped from featuring as an expert on daytime lifestyle show CityLine.

The same day, Mulroney posted her own statement on her Instagram account apologising for her behaviour towards Exeter in what she referred to as their "disagreement".

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"I want to say from my heart that every word of my apologies to Sasha over the course of the last two weeks privately, and again both publicly and privately today is true," she wrote.

"I did not intend to jeopardise her livelihood. We had a disagreement and it got out of hand. For that I am sorry."






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Please read my statement. It is from my heart.

A post shared by  Jess Mulroney (@jessicamulroney) on

Mulroney also said she would be stepping back from social media to platform black voices and dedicate her time to reflecting, learning and listening.

"The events that have transpired over the last few days have made it clear that I have work to do. I realise more than ever how being a white, privileged woman has put me far ahead of so many, and in particular those in the black community. And while I can’t change the past, I can do my part to do better in the future."

On June 13, ABC’s Good Morning America said it had also ended its relationship with Mulroney. 

The program tweeted, "As Jessica Mulroney said last night, she is stepping away from her professional engagements and that includes Good Morning America. She will no longer appear on our show."

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What does Meghan Markle have to do with this?

Image: Getty. 

Other than her friendship with Mulroney, the Duchess has nothing to do with the saga.

That said, the Daily Mail is reporting the former senior royal is allegedly "absolutely mortified".

"Meghan is absolutely mortified that she's been dragged into this complete mess. She said Jessica is in no way a racist, but the way she handled the situation was tone-deaf and heartbreaking," another friend of Markle's is reported to have told the publication.

"Meghan said friends reflect friends and because of what's at stake she can no longer be associated with Jessica, at least not in public. She has to do what she has to do in order to preserve her dignity and her own reputation."

Feature image: Getty.

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