Meghan visited the American offices of US Weekly a year before her relationship with Prince Harry became public “to see if there was something to do”.
The future Duchess was starring in the legal drama Suits at the time but was not regarded as a major celebrity, and the visit is likely to be interpreted as an early publicity drive on her behalf.
Scobie, whose new book, Endgame, has come under the spotlight over revelations in its Dutch edition about the King and the Princess of Wales allegedly making remarks about the skin colour of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s unborn child, suggests the visit was a factor in Meghan later trusting him as a journalist.
Speaking about the moment in 2016 that news broke that Prince Harry was in a relationship with Meghan, Scobie – who worked for US Weekly at the time – told the James O’Brien podcast Full Disclosure: “Suits was a huge thing for our magazine.
“Funnily enough a year or two earlier – I wasn’t in the office at the time – Meghan’s agent or publicist had brought her in to just meet editors and see if there was something to do. She was very much on the radar, even if she wasn’t up there with the big-name celebrities.”
Scobie said Meghan’s visit to his magazine’s offices gave him an advantage when it later came to reporting her romance with Prince Harry.
“We really had a lead,” he added. “I had the lead in covering the early days of this relationship, and when I left the magazine they were my focus for this [royal] beat.”
He suggested that it was this early connection that allowed the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to trust him as a reporter who could be sympathetic to her situation as a mixed-race person marrying into the British monarchy.
“She had picked the people she wanted to cover it. I was able to be the one that provided the different perspective,” said Scobie, who is of British-Persian heritage. “I was known as the safe face at least.”