Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s decision to step down as senior members of the royal family was met with surprise and confusion. But the move actually isn’t that shocking—especially when you think about the tabloid scrutiny they were under daily while living in the U.K.
The most recent example of this involves actor Simon Rex (Scary Movie 3), who alleges a British tabloid offered him a lot of money to lie about his relationship with Markle. “Nothing happened [between Meghan and me],” Rex told the Hollywood Raw podcast. “We never even kissed. It was just, like, we hung out once in a very non-datey way. She was just someone I had met on a TV show and, like, we got lunch. That was the extent of it.”
But, apparently, this harmless tidbit was enough for the tabloids to pounce on Rex. When news of his platonic past with Markle broke, the press came knocking. “The tabloids, actually, when that story broke, a couple British tabloids offered to pay me a lot of money to say a lie that we actually hooked up,” Rex said. “And dude. I said no to a lot of money because I didn’t feel right lying and f-cking up the royal f-cking family…”
How much money, you ask? “It was a lot of money, man. I think they offered me, like, $70,000,” Rex said.
How messed up, right? In a 2019 documentary, Meghan Markle admitted she didn’t realize the extent of British tabloid culture when she started dating Prince Harry. Situations like the one Rex describes here were probably never on her radar.
“It’s hard,” she said. “I don’t think anybody could understand that, but in all fairness, I had no idea—which probably sounds difficult to understand here—but when I first met my now husband, my friends were really happy because I was so happy, but my British friend said to me, ‘I’m sure he’s great, but you shouldn’t do it, because the British tabloids will destroy your life.’ And I very naively—we’re American, we don’t have that there,—[said],‘What are you talking about? That doesn’t make any sense. I’m not in tabloids!’ I didn’t get it. So yeah, it’s been complicated.”