One of the biggest stories last week and perhaps this week too was Toronto socialite/Duchess Meghan BFF Jessica Mulroney being outed as a racist. Jessica started a beef with a black Canadian influencer named Sasha Exeter over Exeter’s Black Lives Matters posts. Exeter did not call out Jessica or anyone specifically, but for some reason (some kind of personality disorder?), Jessica made those BLM posts all about herself. Mulroney threatened Exeter in writing, threatened Exeter’s livelihood, threatened to speak to Exeter’s sponsors and threatened to sue Exeter. When Exeter went public with these threats, Jessica Mulroney was swiftly fired/allowed to quit all of her jobs, from her I Do, Redo reality show to her appearances on Good Morning America and Cityline. We also heard from unnamed “sources” at the Daily Mail claiming that Duchess Meghan is “mortified” at being dragged into this mess, and that she’s not going to step up and defend Jessica. Entertainment Tonight had a new story on Monday making similar points:
Meghan Markle is struggling with her best friend, Jessica Mulroney’s, recent controversy. A source close to Markle tells ET that it was “painful” to learn that one of her best friends could have made such “misguided and insensitive comments.” The controversy began when, according to influencer Sasha Exeter, Mulroney “took offense” to her call to action amid the Black Lives Matter movement and used her “textbook white privilege” to send her a “threat in writing.” The source notes that Markle feels Mulroney was “so tone deaf while using her privilege to bully Sasha Exeter.”
In addition to Mulroney’s social media apology, ET has learned that, while speaking privately with Markle before the controversy became public, Mulroney apologized for her remarks, which the source calls “out of touch and disappointing.”
The source tells ET that Markle and her husband, Prince Harry, have been “listening and learning from community leaders about Black Lives Matters” amid the recent protests, noting that Markle is now embarrassed that she has been dragged into her friend’s race controversy. “Meghan and Harry have always supported policies of diversity and inclusivity,” the source says, adding that learning about Mulroney’s remarks was “hurtful.”
Sure. I mean, I didn’t believe the DM story, which had Meghan acting like this was merely a PR mistake and now she couldn’t be seen with Jessica. I think Meghan’s focus would be on the horror of realizing that her friend behaved that abominably.
Speaking of, we should talk about LaineyGossip’s long-read piece about the Mulroneys, Sasha Exeter and the Duchess of Sussex – you can read Lainey’s piece here. She knows Ben Mulroney, Jessica’s husband, more than any of the other players. She’s only spoken to Jessica a handful of times, but Lainey and Ben are coworkers and work friends, by her own description. She basically says that she’s probably going off-side with the Mulroneys and maybe she’ll be on “their list” now because of her coverage of Jessica’s racist f–kery. I can feel how nervous Lainey is to call out the Mulroneys, because of the very real damage they could do to her, her finances, her site and her job on television.
I was also interested in Lainey’s analysis of why Sasha Exeter specifically said Jessica Mulroney is “not racist.” I’ve been calling Jessica’s actions and words racist from the start, because that’s what they were. Racism isn’t just “using the n-word” and “attending MAGA Nazi rallies.” It’s using your power and privilege to bully, threaten and harass a woman of color because you believe that WOC is powerless and less-than. Jessica Mulroney bullied and threatened Sasha Exeter because she could, because Sasha triggered Jessica’s white fragility. I found this to be the most interesting part of Lainey’s piece:
So if you do want the gossip about Jessica… this is what I can tell you: the Toronto arts and media circle is pretty small so you hear things. People are afraid of retribution. I am afraid of retribution – and I guess I’ve just made it worse with this post. Retribution might not come this week or next week, but in three or six months, when Jessica’s white privilege (which is already working in her favour, since as small as the Toronto arts and media circle is, it’s also homogeneous, and many of the people who work at the media, marketing, and branding agencies are also largely white so they identify and sympathise with her) is reactivated. She has powerful allies. If I’m worried, then, and I have a platform, imagine the people out there who don’t have my advantages.
Word on the street right now is that Jessica is still watching people’s Instagram stories, paying attention to what people are saying, and people are nervous that she’s taking names and making a list. It’s also been shared on the whisper network that she’s telling those who are continuing to engage with her privately that “there are two sides to every story”, suggesting that she doesn’t feel she’s as in the wrong as she actually is.
Many of us “liked” Sasha Exeter’s post last week and we’re pretty sure that the Mulroneys are keeping track of them. On Wednesday night, when all of this was going down, I can tell you for sure that at least one email was sent out from the Mulroney camp to someone who “liked” Sasha’s post that was mildly threatening. It was an email that sent a message and this is the way the message was received and internalised: you’re on watch, so you should think about whose side you’re on.
I hope Meghan wants no part in (explicitly or implicitly) helping her friend re-establish herself in Toronto society, especially if Mulroney is planning to go after the people who criticized her. The very idea that Jessica Mulroney thinks it’s better to “keep tabs” on people criticizing her (justifiably!) rather than doing some soul-searching on her own about how she’s a racist narcissist, well…
Photos courtesy of Backgrid.