Breaking news for royal family fans: Apparently Meghan Markle flirted in high school! Seriously underwhelmed? So are we. On May 13, Shahs of Sunset star Nema Vand went on the Reality Life With Kate Casey podcast to spill some super tepid tea about the Duchess of Sussex who Vand says he was friends with in high school. On the episode, Vand recalled his relationship with Markle, recalling how the former Suits actor “toyed” with all the guys’ hearts “masterfully.”
Vand recounted a specific incident when he and Markle were teens, telling the host: “She knew what she was doing…We were at a party one time and she sat on my lap. She got nose to nose with me. For a 16-year-old guy, that is an emotional moment. She said to me in Farsi, ‘You are so beautiful.’ I asked her, ‘How do you know Farsi?’ She said, ‘I learned it for you.’ Then she walked away.”
Besides the fact that I 100% cannot see this actually happening (it sounds like some 2009-era Twilight fan fiction), the bigger questions is…so what?
It wasn’t long after Vand’s interview that media outlets, especially in the U.K., were running with the story of the duchess being a “Meg-a-flirt,” and heartbreaker. And, because this is Meghan Markle and people love to hate on her, the framing of Prince Harry’s wife as a “meg-a-flirt”—along with the inclusion throwback photos of her partying in some articles, not to mention Vand’s comments about her “knowing what she was doing” when it came to men—is pretty heavy on the negative implications. So before this nonsense goes any further, let’s nip it in the bud—because not reciprocating feelings does not make Markle a bad person. And neither does flirting.
Not to be rude, but Nema Vand sounds like he’s pretty fame hungry
First things first, it’s important to note that Vand is coming off a recent season of the reality TV show, Shahs of Sunset. As Cosmopolitan pointed out in a May 14 article, this most likely means that he’s trying to stir up *some* level of notoriety, to both promote the show and keep his name in the headlines. Which is not a slight towards Vand, just a fact of the reality TV world. So does the timing of his recent interview seem *very* suspect? Yes. It’s pretty clear that Vand isn’t afraid to use Markle’s name to get a little bit of press, unlike some of Markle’s more recent BFFs like Serena Williams and Priyanka Chopra, the former of whom recently side-stepped questions about Markle and Prince Harry’s move to Los Angeles in an interview with Naomi freakin’ Campbell! These ladies are tight-lipped about their friend, seem to really respect her privacy and don’t have to use her name for fame.
Also, Vand pretty much implied that—by allegedly “ghosting” one of their mutual friends when she booked Suits—Markle is a social climber who’s willing to drop friends, which TBH doesn’t sound like great friend behaviour on his part.
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Plus, it was high school
Not to mention the fact that all of this was going down in high school. TBQH, Vand sounds a lot like every guy who was friend-zoned by a female friend in high school. Aside from the fact that he creepily referred to Markle as a “woman among girls” (ew), his characterization of her as someone who “knew” what she was doing when it came to men, and the implication that she was “toying” with them, is probably pretty mischaracterized. Do you even remember being 16? Now imagine being a 16-year-old girl. Your body is doing whack AF stuff, you probably had braces (or maybe that was just me), and you’re most likely hella awkward. The *last* thing you’re aware of is your feminine wiles and the affect you have on fellow tween boys. You’re just trying to figure out your acne (also maybe just me).
How much do you want to bet that Markle was just a cute girl who lots of guys liked, and she was simply..nice to them?
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And Meghan Markle can like—and do—whoever and whatever she wants
Or, maybe the teenage future duchess *was* actually flirting with a ton of guys and completely in control of the effect she had on them. And if so, again, so what? In the iconic words of Tabitha Brown: “That’s [her] business!” None of Prince Harry’s former friends are coming forward to divulge on his wild past, so why should we really care if Markle flirted with a ton of teenage guys at parties in Los Angeles as a legit teenager? That’s her prerogative and we absolutely love that for her!
Markle’s “meg-a-flirting” has seriously no effect on anything she’s doing now, a fact that many people seem to overlook when it comes to Markle (and women) in general, considering they like to dredge up facts from their romantic histories under the assumption that flirting, dating around or even being unfaithful unequivocally makes them a bad person. Don’t believe me? Just look at how people talked about the end of Markle’s first marriage to director Trevor Engelson, with the press basically blaming her for the entire dissolution of the marriage, saying that she “bolted” and would bolt again in her second marriage to Prince Harry. (These folks of course failed to take into account that there are, in fact, two people in a relationship that can be held accountable for whether or not it ends).
And honestly, can everyone just leave Markle alone? No one really cares that much about your near-miss of a kiss with the duchess over 20 years ago, Vand. Everyone in the situation should just move on, because Markle clearly has—and she’s thriving.