Part of Harry and Meghan’s deal to do their two-hour bombshell interview with Oprah was to plug his upcoming Apple TV documentary on mental health, claim sources associated with the series to DailyMail.com.
A TV insider with knowledge of the deal claims that promoting the documentary within the interview was part of Harry’s agreement as ‘co-partner’ and ‘co-creator’ of the Apple series. Oprah gave the upcoming series a shout out during the two-hour prime time special,
The Sussexes and Oprah both have publicly insisted no money was paid to the couple for the CBS interview, which was distributed to over 70 countries and watched live by 17.1 million people.
While their claims are technically true, Harry’s lucrative deal with Apple includes promotional work, which could include its mention during the two-hour interview.
Harry is being compensated for his contribution as ‘co-partner, co-creator and executive producer’ on the as-yet-untitled forthcoming mental health series.
Oprah referenced the series during her sit-down with the Sussexes, saying on camera: ‘Harry and I are working on this mental health series for Apple.’
The ‘plug’ for the documentary came about an hour into the interview, moments after Meghan revealed she had contemplated suicide in the depths of her row with the Royals.
‘I just didn’t want to be alive any more,’ the Duchess said. ‘And that was a very clear and real and frightening constant thought.’
Sources told DailyMail.com Prince Harry was paid for his contribution as a ‘co-partner, co-creator and executive producer’ of his upcoming Apple TV series, which was plugged on the two-hour prime time special on Sunday
The new show, which is weeks away from release on Apple TV+, is helmed by Harry and Oprah, with RadicalMedia as creative and production partner. Oprah mentioned the series after Meghan revealed she had suicidal thoughts
The Sussexes and Oprah both have publicly insisted no money was paid to the couple for the CBS interview, which was distributed to over 70 countries and watched live by 17.1 million people a week ago Sunday.
And a spokeswoman for CBS told DailyMail.com this week: ‘there was no payment of any kind for the interview or any footage in any way to Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex or any of their charities.’
However one LA consultant, who works with Apple and Netflix, says that although Harry and Oprah’s claims are technically true, the Prince’s Apple show deal includes promotional work, which could include Sunday night’s interview.
The documentary, which is weeks away from release, is a series about mental health for Apple TV+, helmed by Harry and Oprah, with RadicalMedia as creative and production partner.
The source says that the Apple media deal was a ‘paying gig’ for Harry.
The TV insider also claims that Harry, with Oprah, was expected to promote the show as part of that deal.
‘Oprah and Harry mentioning their documentary in the CBS interview was a clear plug,’ the source said.
Feeling lonely and isolated amid her row with the royals in 2019, Meghan tearfully admitted during the interview that she ‘just didn’t want to be alive any more’
Meghan cited this event at the Royal Albert Hall in January 2019, claiming she was forced to go when struggling with her mental health
‘It is a very subtle mention, but given Oprah and her company Harpo Productions had editorial control over the show content, the fact it stayed in there spoke volumes.
‘Sure, Harry and Meghan did not get paid for the Oprah interview. But the brand endorsements and recognition was significant… Subtle but significant.’
Another TV public relations source with knowledge of Harry and Meghan’s TV and podcast deals claimed that Netflix and Spotify being mentioned by name in the CBS special was ‘obviously promotion’.
‘The interview was powerful, emotional and personal, but let’s not forget they are in business now,’ the second source said. ‘Netflix and Spotify have paid them significant sums of money and those deals come with an expectation of promotion.’
Harry’s as-yet unnamed Apple TV series aims to put a spotlight on the burgeoning social problems arising from mental health, breaking down its stigma and shame on a global scale.
Oprah’s mention of the new show during Sunday’s interview came as Meghan revealed that she became suicidal and lonely after feeling isolated at home in 2019.
The Duchess said her crisis hit a peak just before an official function at the Royal Albert Hall that year, telling Harry ‘I can’t be left alone.’
‘I just didn’t want to be alive any more. And that was a very clear and real and frightening constant thought,’ she said. ‘I’m scared, because this is very real. This isn’t some abstract idea.’
Meghan added that while publicly she was smiling, inside she was terrified – pointing out how the couple were clutching each other’s hands in one happy-seeming photo at a public event from the time.
During the interview, the Duchess of Sussex said she would answer ‘honestly’ before going on to claim there were ‘concerns and conversations about how dark’ her son’s skin might be when he’s born
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who is joined by her mother Doria Ragland, show their new son Archie to the Queen and Prince Philip at Windsor Castle in 2019
‘You can see the whites of our knuckles, because we are smiling and doing our job, but we’re both just trying to hold on,’ she told Oprah. ‘And every time that those lights went down in that Royal Box, I was just weeping, and he was gripping my hand.
‘You have no idea what’s going on for someone behind closed doors. You have no idea. Even the people that smile the biggest smiles and shine the brightest lights, it seems, to have compassion for what’s actually potentially going on.’
Shortly after the revelation, Oprah brought her and Harry’s Apple TV series into the interview.
‘Nobody should have to go through that,’ she said. ‘And, you know, Harry and I are working on this mental health series for Apple, and yeah we hear a lot of these stories.’
Meghan then replied: ‘It takes so much courage to admit that you need help. It takes so much courage to voice that. And as I said, I was ashamed. I’m supposed to be stronger than that.
‘I don’t want to put more on my husband’s shoulders. He’s carrying the weight of the world. I don’t want to bring that to him. I bring solutions. To admit that you need help, to admit how dark of a place you’re in.’
Apple first announced Harry and Oprah’s mental health documentary series in April 2019, one of the earliest TV projects in the Sussexes’ new LA career.
Meghan finally addressed the couple’s rift with the royal family that ultimately led to their departure last January, almost two years after they tied the knot (left). The Sussexes welcomed their first child , son Archie, in 2019 and are expecting their second later this year
In an interview with fellow TV titan Gayle King on CBS This Morning that month, Oprah revealed exactly how the project came about, explaining that she pitched the idea to Prince Harry during a discussion about global issues.
‘I asked [Prince Harry] the question, ‘What do you think are the most important issues facing the world right now?’ and he said there are two,’ the daytime TV queen said.
‘He said climate change and mental wellness, mental fitness and mental health.’
She went on: ‘As you know, he’s spoken about his own issues and what he went through after his mother died and how being able to talk about it has benefited him.
‘So it’s a passion of his and, at the end of the conversation, I said, ‘Oh, I’m going to be doing this thing with Apple. It’s a big concern of mine too and I want to try to erase the stigma,’ and he said at the end of the conversation, ‘If there’s anything I can do to help.”
It was then that Oprah decided to pitch the idea of Harry partnering with her on the Apple project, with the TV titan revealing that, since signing on, the royal has been incredibly involved in building the series.
Oprah had already been forging a close friendship with the royals ahead of her business partnership with Harry.
The Duke first revealed his personal struggles in 2017, saying he sought counseling. He also revealed how his brother William had been a ‘huge support’ in battling his demons
The chat show queen was a guest at the Sussexes’ wedding at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in 2018, and was rumored to have been invited to Meghan’s baby shower the following February in New York.
Oprah did not end up attending, but her close friend and fellow CBS veteran Gayle King, who sources say was involved in arranging last Sunday’s interview with the Sussexes, did.
Oprah also revealed in her April 2019 interview that she had been in ‘secret meetings in London’ for months working on her documentary with Harry.
The partnership was a huge win for Apple, which had reportedly already signed up Oprah to a multi-year content deal including scripted and unscripted original TV material, podcasts, books and apps.
In a statement released when the Apple show was announced, Harry said: ‘I truly believe that good mental health – mental fitness – is the key to powerful leadership, productive communities and a purpose-driven self. It is a huge responsibility to get this right as we bring you the facts, the science and the awareness of a subject that is so relevant during these times.
‘Our hope is that this series will be positive, enlightening and inclusive – sharing global stories of unparalleled human spirit fighting back from the darkest places, and the opportunity for us to understand ourselves and those around us better. I am incredibly proud to be working alongside Oprah on this vital series.’
The documentarians are now even neighbors – last year the former royals bought a mansion in Montecito, California, just a few miles from Oprah’s $100 million Promised Land estate.
The Duke first revealed his personal struggles in 2017, saying he sought counseling after two years of ‘total chaos’ having spent nearly 20 years ‘not thinking’ about the loss of his mother.
Speaking to The Telegraph, Harry revealed how his brother William had been a ‘huge support’ in battling his demons and that it was he who insisted it was ‘OK’ to talk to someone.
The Duke – who said he knew at the time he was struggling but ‘didn’t know what was wrong’ – said his brother had gently tried to push him in the right direction, but it was only when the ‘timing was right’ that he was able to seek help.
His show is directed by Asif Kapadia, who directed Senna, and is produced by Dawn Porter with executive producer Kahane Cooperman.
It had been slated for 2020 release, but was delayed due to the pandemic.
A spokeswoman for Oprah declined to comment, and representatives for the Sussexes did not respond to requests for comment.