Meghan Markle Says 'Deal Or No Deal' Made Her Feel 'Objectified' And 'Not Smart'

"It was solely about beauty," the Duchess of Sussex said. "And not necessarily about brains."
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Meghan Markle opened up about her stint on “Deal or No Deal” on the latest episode of her podcast, “Archetypes,” and described how she felt “objectified” and “not smart” throughout her experience on the show.

The Duchess of Sussex said on Tuesday’s episode of the Spotify and Archewell series that she “was still really grateful as an auditioning actress” to have a job as a “briefcase girl” on the game show, which she appeared on in 2006.

But despite the income and access to health insurance, Meghan said she “didn’t like feeling forced to be all looks and little substance.”

“There were times when I was on set at ‘Deal or No Deal’ and thinking back to my time working as an intern at the U.S. Embassy in Argentina Buenos Aires,” she said. “And being in the motorcade with the secretary of treasury at the time and being valued specifically for my brain.”

“Here, I was being valued for something quite the opposite,” the royal added.

A shot of Meghan Markle during her time on "Deal or No Deal."
A shot of Meghan Markle during her time on "Deal or No Deal."
NBC via Getty Images

Meghan described the beautifying process that would take place before each taping, where the girls would line up and go through stations for putting on fake eyelashes, getting extensions put in, or adding padding to their bra.

She said her fellow “briefcase girls” were also given weekly spray-tan vouchers, as “there was a very cookie cutter idea of precisely what we should look like.”

“It was solely about beauty. And not necessarily about brains.”

She also said there was one detail related to her time on the show that she “will never, never forget.”

“There was a woman who ran the show and she would be there backstage and I can still hear her,” the duchess said. “She couldn’t properly pronounce my last name at the time, and I knew who she was talking to because she would go ‘MAR-KELL SUCK IT IN! MAR-KELL SUCK IT IN.’”

“I ended up quitting the show,” Meghan said. “Like I said, I was thankful for the job, but not for how it made me feel ― which was not smart.”

“I was surrounded by smart women on that stage with me, but that wasn’t the focus of why we were there and I would end up leaving with this pit in my stomach,” the former “Suits” actress added. “Knowing that I was so much more than what was being objectified on the stage.”

The royal has spoken about her time on the show before, telling Esquire magazine in 2013 that she did it “to try to make ends meet.”

Meghan seen holding a briefcase during a taping of the show.
Meghan seen holding a briefcase during a taping of the show.
NBC via Getty Images

“I went from working in the U.S. Embassy in Argentina to ending up on ‘Deal,’” she said at the time. “It’s run the gamut. Definitely working on ‘Deal or No Deal’ was a learning experience, and it helped me to understand what I would rather be doing.”

Meghan said she thinks she didn’t ever have the winning briefcase on the show, joking that she had the “ill-fated number.”

“Which for some reason, no one would ever choose,” she told the outlet. “I would end up standing up there forever in these terribly uncomfortable and inexpensive five-inch heels just waiting for someone to pick my number so I could go and sit down.”

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