Celeb psychologist analyses Meghan’s interview with Oprah Winfrey: What was not said could be most significant

Northern Ireland psychologist to the stars Dr Arthur Cassidy says that one glaring omission from the Oprah Winfrey interview with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex this week was the facts behind her estrangement from her family.

Thursday, 11th March 2021, 6:30 am
Updated Friday, 12th March 2021, 10:34 am

Portadown man Dr Cassidy is a Mental Health Expert and TV Psychologist who has worked with Big Brother and as a contributor to the recent ITV Documentary ‘Prince Harry: Four Royal Weddings’.

Speaking to the News Letter yesterday he said he would not have been surprised that Meghan was feeling suicidal due to the ‘culture shock’ of joining the royal family.

After watching the two hour interview this week, he said: “It was quite notable to me that here she was possibly suffering from emotional psychological pain.”

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Meghan, Duchess of Sussex speaking with Oprah Winfrey

He added: “She would have been trying to make sense out of all these attitudes that would not be fitting with the individuality of American culture - moving into a collectivist institution and culture .”

The psychologist always takes claims of suicidal feelings seriously, he says “royal or not”.

But he is perplexed with many questions; - who she approached in the royal family’s human resources department for help, and why her husband - a former army captain - was not able to escalate the matter to the Queen for emergency treatment?

Dr Cassidy is of the view that racist attitudes can be seen in any organisation - and that the monarch would not have any control over that.

Dr Arthur Cassidy from Portadown pictured on This Morning with presenter Eamonn Holmes.

“However questions about Archie’s skin [colour] could be construed as a very light hearted remark in terms of social behaviour. It depends on the motive...it could be driven by very dark motives. It has to be seen in balance, although racism can lead to suicidal fatalities.”He believes highly sensitive mental health struggles should really only be poured out with a therapist, but acknowledges that the interview could not reduce stigma around the issue and encourage more public discussion.

But he also the impact of the interview will be “quite injurious” to the mental health of the couple’s fathers in particular, the Duke of Edinburgh and Thomas Markle.  

Another key question that could help understanding is whether the interview was instigated by Oprah or Meghan, he adds.It looked like a “very heavily crafted interview with a lot of discussion beforehand about whether Meghan was going to tell all... [but] she hasn’t told all. There are a lot of things she has not made clear in this interview.”  

He places a major emphasis on how Meghan’s relationships with her father and half siblings, Samantha and Thomas Jr, broke down, especially in light of Samantha’s claims around the subject.

“There are many questions that were not asked that would be appropriate for the UK to know” he adds. I would like to have seen interviews with her sister and father, brother and her mother.”  

It was also very notable to him that in two hours of an interview, her highly publicised humanitarian work was “carefully avoided”.

“If we can see these principles of humanitarianism and empathy and care for others - if we can see evidence of this to her own family... to embrace them and bring them back in again, then it could increase the authenticity of who she is.”

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