Camilla Tominey says she’s a journalist. She’s employed by the Daily Telegraph as an associate editor, straddling political and royal commentary. As a self-styled royal expert, she appears on British and increasingly American TV shows to comment on Harry and Meghan, the now self-supporting and independently funded members of the royal family, who no longer work for the family business.
When you think journalist, you think accuracy, objectivity, fairness. Not when it comes to Camilla Tominey’s reportage of the Sussexes. For reasons known only to her, her coverage of the Sussexes has always seemed agenda-driven. On Tuesday June 22, it all came to a head.
As you may well know, Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex discussed her children’s book, ‘The Bench‘ in an interview given to National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition that aired on Sunday June 20. She remarked that “Archie has a voracious appetite for books” and “whenever we read to him, will say again, again”. This was a sweet anecdote and hardly surprising to anyone who watched the video of Meghan reading Archie Duck Rabbit! for Save with Stories last year, to commemorate his first birthday. He was clearly engaged and interested. But will Camilla let a 2 year old just enjoy being read to? Of course not.
She appeared on ITV’s This Morning on Tuesday June 22, to discuss Meghan’s book and interview and blatantly lied, saying, that Meghan said Archie was a voracious reader, and sneering at what a claim that was. Her words. She implied that Meghan wasn’t truthful. Naturally Harry and Meghan supporters rightly called her to account on social media. Rather than correct her obvious lie, she doubled down, defending her initial lie with the lie 2.0 saying “Meghan says Archie has a voracious appetite for books and re reads them”. The italicized portion of the previous statement is a lie. Meghan did not say that, but you see the craftiness of that sentence? Partly accurate (voracious appetite for books) partly a lie(and he re reads them) that she uses to justify her original lie, rather than take responsibility, recant and correct as one would expect from a journalist.
When pressed further, she said “I’m speaking my truth. You and your fellow nutbags better get used to it”. Since when does a “journalist” report their truth about someone else’s verifiable account of an event? It’s insane that a “journalist” would take such a dangerously entrenched position on something so fundamental and crucial as the truth. Unsurprisingly, Harry and Meghan fan accounts and non-Sussex fan accounts continued to call her out, getting the #CamillaTomineyIsALiar trending on Twitter. To these questions, she mostly responded with insulting replies, calling people trolls and accusing them of spreading hate. Needless to say, being called to account for lying when it is your job to report accurately IS NOT spreading hate. That phrase has been weaponized by Camilla and several others in the British media to sidestep accountability.
On Wednesday morning, this saga took a dramatic turn when Camilla tweeted a message with a screenshot of a death threat to her kids, that she said was sent to her website. Death threats have no place here and are unequivocally condemned. There is not and should never be justification for such a threat, if it indeed happened. As expected, this triggered an avalanche of messages of support and denunciation from media colleagues across the board. While the threat is despicable, it does not negate the fact that Camilla Tominey chose to blatantly lie about a relatively benign and inconsequential anecdote. We can walk and chew gum.
While as supporters of the Sussexes, we are never going to condone death threats to anyone, what we will absolutely not abide are lies, mischaracterizations and agenda-driven narratives presented as journalism. We will continue to hold so-called journalists accountable for their false reporting where necessary, so long as they continue to traffic in anti-Sussex propaganda.
The IF that qualified my condemnation of the death threat is borne out of the fact that, Camilla Tominey has a long history of dishonesty while covering the Sussexes, as well as several attempts to discredit the Sussexes and their online community of supporters. This prompted scrutiny of her claim and several problematic aspects emerge.
First, she attributes the death threat to the Sussexes’ supporters without any categorical evidence. She writes in part, “I am posting this death threat, sent to my website this morning in the name of #HarryandMeghan ‘fandom’.” The screenshot neither mentions Harry, Meghan, nor their supporters directly or by implication. Further, there is no stated grievance or motive from the sender that will indicate they’re a fan of Harry and Meghan or doing it on behalf of their fans. It is purely slanderous conjecture.
It wasn’t that long ago, that Camilla Tominey wrote an article to dismiss Sussex supporters on Twitter as Russian bots, based on some dubious research. She would subsequently refer to Meghan supporters as Megbots. Somehow, these Russian robots have undergone human transformation and are now sending death threats, according to Camilla. Obviously the online community of Sussex supporters are not robots. My point is that Camilla has taken every available opportunity to discredit these supporters, but I digress.
She did not at any point in her numerous tweets and replies indicate that she had filed a police report, the result of whose investigation could be used to make such an emphatic statement. One would think that would be the first order of business. Actually, a Sussex fan account tagged the Metropolitan Police on Twitter asking for help identifying the culprit. The MetUK promptly responded directly to Camilla Tominey’s Twitter account asking her to file a report. She did not publicly comment on, or reply to that request. Instead, she was posting messages thanking Twitter for banning people sending her death threats.
I’m baffled, because Twitter has no jurisdiction over what happens on Camilla’s website. The cyber crimes unit of the Met police will be the ones to do that, but curiously she gave no indication that the threat was reported to them. Even though the sender’s email, subject etc. are all visible, a time/date stamp is not visible on the screenshot. Further intriguing is the fact that the sender’s email, an explicit Yahoo email is verified by Yahoo to be non-existent in their system, and one that couldn’t be created based on their terms and conditions. I can grant that the sender could have used a fictitious email to evade capture, but if indeed they sent the threat from her website, then their IP address would have been captured. Another reason why Camilla should have the police on it.
What is ironic in this hullabaloo, is Camilla’s complete lack of self-awareness. Her reporting on the Sussexes over the last 4 years has largely contributed to a monumental amount of online hate and abuse directed at the Sussexes, particularly Meghan. She, of the infamous Meghan made Kate cry article, that trained royalists’ ire on Meghan for the cardinal sin of upsetting their future queen consort.
The anatomy of the story has changed so many times. At first it was insinuated that Meghan spoke harshly to Kate at a wedding rehearsal. Then before the release of the Finding Freedom book, several iterations were advanced on behalf of ‘palace sources’. It was about Kate dictating that flower girls wear tights at Meghan’s wedding. Then it was, oh actually, it was a disagreement about the length of dresses. Like a chameleon, the story changed to fit the situation.
This is the case in almost any story that arises from ‘palace sources’. When it was reported that Meghan’s name was removed from Archie’s birth certificate, we get one account from Meghan and 5/6 different versions from the palace sources over as many days. Each time, the web widening to entrap more characters. Most recently, with baby Lili. First Harry and Meghan didn’t ask permission, then they informed the Queen but didn’t seek consent, and then somehow the Queen was implied to be senile, hard of hearing and unable understand what Harry was saying over a long distance call, as if the conversation were over a party line.
In spite of the evolving narrative of her ‘palace sources’, and the very convenient fibbing, after Meghan revealed in the Oprah interview that it was Kate who made her cry, and that the institution knew that and refused to correct it, Camilla was still adamant that her version of events was true.
Why so? Because according to her, the story was well sourced and she believed it to be true. During that appearance Philip Schofield interrogated her sourcing, and you can see her noticeably uncomfortable but rigid in her stance. The fact that she was unwilling as a “journalist” to consider the possibility that her sources were not credible is stunning. She actually took issue with the fact that Phillip questioned her. She characterized it in an article as follows: “Having seemingly been completely bowled over by Meghan’s version of events, Schofe then went for the jugular”. Went for the jugular? That’s what she calls rightly examining her account in the face of new information? Camilla is not above reproach. Far from it, and the notion that she would not expect to be questioned is ludicrous. In this particular article, whether by design or by accident, she inserts herself into the Sussexes’ story: “Harry, Meghan and me: my truth as a reporter”. Her “truth” rears its head again. She should know that Harry’s and Meghan’s story has little to do with her personally.
I believe it’s her inability to step outside of the personal- her own entrenched feelings towards the couple- that has rendered her totally incapable of objectivity, reasonable or logical thought and appraisal when she writes about them.
If you examine most of what she’s written about the Sussexes, you do come away with the impression that she’s on a mission to cast them into a certain mold, rather than purely report the news, or that where Harry and Meghan are concerned, the unvarnished and unmanipulated truth is unpalatable to her. But why?
Why did she write an article linking Meghan and women of The Hubb Community kitchen to terrorists? Especially since she got a pat on the back from known white supremacist leader David Vance, “for putting my Meghan Markle ISIS Mosque cookbook story on the front page of the Telegraph”. The Queen, Princes Charles, William and Harry visited the Grenfell community before Meghan got involved with the women, yet none of them were linked to terrorists. All the women are from the Grenfell community, but not all of them are even Muslims. They were just a group of displaced women that the Al-Manaar mosque had allowed to use the kitchen in the mosque’s community center to cook and feed their families. In any case, if that terrorism story had merit, why was a royal correspondent reporting it rather than being in the remit of a counter-terrorism or national security reporter?
Prince Harry was targeted by white supremacists because they deemed him a race traitor. Two young men were convicted and are currently imprisoned for a plot to assassinate him, but what do I know?
Similarly, when Meghan guest-edited British Vogue, Camilla wrote a poorly informed piece accusing Meghan of bias and discrimination against men and white women. Perhaps if her blinders were off, she could have appreciated that Meghan, a vocal women’s advocate, honoring a group of women was hardly a faux-pas- a sure bet rather, and that diversity was represented in several different ways, not just color. But perhaps, Camilla was looking for her “truth”.
She took her “royal expert” self to Australian TV to advance this narrative that, Meghan’s guest-editorship of British Vogue was inappropriate. Of course the host challenged her assertion with the fact that other members of the royal family had guest-edited magazines, and that Kate had even been on the cover of Vogue. Having no reasonable comeback, she resorted to pushing previously debunked stories alleging things that Meghan hadn’t done, to justify why Meghan was wrong to do the Vogue issue. Crazy right? Just watch the video.
That story was patently false. Before it went to press, the Sussexes’ communications team refuted it, but that didn’t stop the SUN from printing it. The Sussexes prevailed in an IPSO complaint. Even if those debunked allegations were true, they had no bearing whatsoever on the propriety or otherwise of Meghan’s guest-editorship. The fact that she kicked up that filth, rather than acknowledge there was no legitimate basis for the critique, speaks to her intent.
In April, she wrote one of her “exclusives” about meetings between the Sussexes and Quibi. The point of her article was that Harry and Meghan were plotting their exit from the royal family more than a year before they left. Again, try to discredit Harry and Meghan, who had clearly stated they left when it became untenable to be part of the family business. The fact they began the process of establishing their foundation in UK will support that, but why let the facts get in the way of Camilla’s “truth”?
Actually, Harry first met with Quibi execs when he was at Kensington Palace and the discussions were centered around a sustainable tourism project- which we now know to be Travalyst– that Prince Harry launched in 2019. I don’t recall any reports at the time, that The Sussexes were plotting their royal family exit, but Kensington Palace sources were aware of the initial meetings. Also, the meetings were at the request of Quibi founder Jeffrey Katzenberg. If you don’t think the purpose of Camilla’s bullshit exclusive was propaganda, then I have a spicy Yahoo email to sell to you.
Just yesterday, instead of focusing on helping the Metropolitan police investigate her alleged death threat, and on a day when the royal family published its annual financial reports, she was on to some clap trap about Archie’s title. That the Sussexes rejected the Earl of Dumbarton as a title for Archie because they were afraid he will be bullied because the word ‘dumb” appears in it. Never mind the fact that Harry IS already the Earl of Dumbarton(his title when in Scotland) and Archie WILL inherit that along with Harry’s two other titles.
I mean this woman will not stop. She’s obsessed! She has sunk her claws into the Sussexes for some reason, and has discarded all sense and objectivity, purposely in my opinion. She believes it is part of her job as a member of the media to shape the reputations of public figures, by “reporting and commenting”. True to form, that’s been her mission from the beginning. Camilla should take her own advice and “step out and feel the air in her hair, rather than spreading online hate”.
It is why a mother’s innocuous statement about her child enjoying being read to, became a controversy. It was given the “Camilla truth” treatment; one that resides in a fact-averse universe and thrives on lies and obfuscation. So here we are. Camilla “my truth” Tominey managed to deflect accountability, albeit temporarily, with allegations of a death threat that make your spidey senses uneasy. For the safety of Camilla’s family and for the sake of truth and accountability, I sincerely hope that she shared the original message with the police so that the perpetrator is brought to book.
Some questioned how Camilla could have made such a glaring mistake as a “journalist”. I’m sure you’ve figured it out by now, it was not a mistake. It was intentional and calculated. People who make mistakes correct them. There is no remorse here, just malicious intent. Camilla knows that and I believe it’s best summed when she says “I’m speaking my truth. You and your fellow nutbags better get used to it”. How can she act with such impunity? Because she operates in a system that enables her unethical ways. She will feign respectability but saying she, as a British “journalist” abides by an ethical code of conduct and that she reports without fear or favor. Absolute nonsense! Here’s the head of the IPSO(UK press regulator) in an interview saying, the british media are allowed to be biased and to be campaigning. They are not required to be impartial. So yeah, british media is[designed to be] a cesspool and this girl is striving for all the medals.
All told, Camilla Tominey has not demonstrated any interest or capacity for ethical reporting as far as the Sussexes are concerned. She is a propaganda hack, whose weapon of choice is disinformation. At best, she’s proven herself a bad faith actor. British media may continue to platform her, but there is no good reason on God’s green earth that American networks or media houses outside the UK media establishment should continue to entertain her. If you see her on your TV screen, do yourself a favor and turn it off. If you see any of her lies, call it out.