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Hillary, Chelsea Clinton defend Meghan, Duchess of Sussex

Former US Secretary of State and First Lady

Former US Secretary of State and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton (L) and Chelsea Clinton arrive to the book signing of their new book "The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories for Courage and Resilience" at Barnes & Noble Union Square on October 3, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP) (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images) Credit: AFP via Getty Images/ANGELA WEISS

Hillary Clinton and her daughter Chelsea Clinton are speaking out in defense of Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, the American former actress who has come under repeated personal attacks by the British tabloid press.

"I do want to say that the way she's been treated is inexplicable," former Secretary of State, first lady and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, 71, told the U.K. newspaper The Sunday Times. "I think if the explanation is that she's biracial, then shame on everybody," Clinton added, addressing what Meghan's husband, Prince Harry, 35, criticized as "the racial overtones of comment pieces" when the couple's relationship became public in 2016.

Clinton said she believed the duchess' race is "certainly part of" what Harry condemned in an Oct. 1 statement as a "ruthless campaign that has escalated over the past year," with "relentless propaganda … [that] is knowingly false and malicious." Harry on Sept. 27 sued the publishers of three tabloids, including media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

Clinton's 39-year-old daughter, humanitarian and children's-book author Chelsea Clinton, said of Meghan — who as Meghan Markle was a star of USA Network's "Suits" and other shows — "It's because she proudly had a career first and has a voice that she thankfully continues to use," adding that, "Anyone who has the temerity to break the mold of what has previously been established and expected often, unfortunately, receives criticism and bile that I don't understand. We've seen this pattern repeatedly."

The 38-year-old duchess separately filed a lawsuit against the newspaper the Mail on Sunday over the publication of a private letter she wrote to her estranged father, Thomas Markle.

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