Meghan Markle and Prince Harry extend their support to teen victim of an alleged hate crime, Althea Bernstein

The former Duchess and Duke of Sussex reached out to Althea Bernstein over the weekend to offer their support and hopefully be a small source of comfort.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry extend their support to teen victim of an alleged hate crime, Althea BernsteinMeghan Markle and Prince Harry extend their support to teen victim of an alleged hate crime, Althea Bernstein
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Meghan Markle reached out to Althea Bernstein, an 18-year-old Black woman, who was the victim of an alleged hate crime in Wisconsin last week, reported E! News. Over the weekend, the Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry called her to "offer their support and hopefully be a small source of comfort." The young woman was reported as saying that a group of white men doused her with lighter fluid and set her on fire, police in Madison launched a hate crime investigation according to NBC News. 

 

Incident report from the police department reports that Bernstein told investigators she had seen four white men and "she says one used a spray bottle to deploy a liquid on her face and neck, and then threw a flaming lighter at her, causing the liquid to ignite." The report further states that Bernstein was able to put out the flames and drive him away. Once her mother reached the scene, she took her to the hospital, where the 18-year-old was informed that it was actually lighter fluid that was thrown at her.

 

According to Wisconsin news outlet Channel 3000, former Duchess Meghan got in touch with Bernstein through the president of the Dane County Boys & Girls Club, Michael Johnson. Johnson also acted as Bernstein's spokesperson and said on Saturday afternoon the Duke and Duchess spoke with the young woman on the phone for about 40 minutes. "Her and Meghan talked about the importance of self care and allowing herself to heal," Johnson said, per Channel 3000. "And she applauded her for the way that she responded and pretty much said, 'Hey Michael, give me her cell phone number. I want to stay in touch. And let me know when you want me to come back and talk to people in Wisconsin." 

 

Johnson added that Bernstein was "moved" by the conversation with Meghan and Harry. "She's struggling," Johnson also shared. "It's a challenge for her, it's very, very emotional. I talked to her three or four times today, and I'll tell you Meghan lifted her spirits." Further, Johnson shared with the Wisconsin news channel that the Duchess advised Bernstein to stay off social media to avoid reading negative comments and that the two discussed their shared experience of being biracial women. 

 

In a tweet shared by Johnson on Saturday, he wrote, "On the phone with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle the Duchess of Sussex. Prince Harry shared that young people's voices matter and Meghan has agreed to talk with girls in Wisconsin and we will be scheduling that soon. Thank you for caring!"

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