Meghan Markle reaches out to Althea Bernstein whose face was burnt in 'racially-motivated hate crime'

Meghan Markle
Meghan Markle
Photo: Samir Hussein/Getty Images
  • Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have reached out to 18-year-old Althea Berstein, the victim of an alleged hate crime.
  • Althea stopped at a robot last week when she claims four white men came up to her vehicle, poured lighter fluid on her face and neck before throwing a lighter at her.
  • Meghan and Anthea spoke about the incident and shared their experiences of being biracial.

Meghan Markle has reached out to Althea Bernstein after the young woman suffered burns from an alleged hate crime in Wisconsin last week.

CBS News reports that the 18-year-old was driving when she stopped at a red light. She heard racial slurs, before she says four white men approached her vehicle and one of them threw a liquid on her face and neck. They then threw a flaming lighter at her. She later went to the hospital to get treated for the burns she sustained and hospital staff confirmed the liquid was lighter fluid.

According to People, Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway called the attack "a violent racially-motivated hate crime".

"While we are still learning more about the details, current information suggests this may have been a premeditated crime targeted toward people of colour, which makes the incident even more disturbing," she said.

After hearing what happened Meghan Markle got in touch with Althea through her representative, the president of the Boys & Girls Club of Dane Country, Michael Johnson, reports Wisconsin news outlet Channel 3000.

According to the publication, Michael recalled: "Her and Meghan talked about the importance of self-care and allowing herself to heal. She applauded her for the way that she responded and pretty much said, 'Hey Michael, give me her cellphone number. I want to stay in touch. And let me know when you want me to come back and talk to people in Wisconsin."

Michael added that Meghan told Althea to avoid all the negative comments on social media, while the two shared their experiences of being biracial women.

He said Althea was "moved" by the 40-minute conversation she had with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

"She's struggling," he added. "It's a challenge for her, it's very, very emotional. I talked to her three or four times today, and I'll tell you Meghan lifted her spirits."

Harry and Meghan's phone call to Althea comes shortly after a source revealed the couple are backing the Stop Hate for Profit campaign which calls on businesses to pause advertising on Facebook which they claim has failed to combat hate speech.

"As we've been developing Archewell, one of the areas the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been keen to address is online hate speech, and we've been working with civil rights and racial justice groups on it," a source close to the couple said, reports Independent.

"Over the past few weeks in particular, this issue has become even more vital and they have been working to encourage global CEOs to stand in solidarity with a coalition of civil and racial justice groups like the NAACP, Color of Change, and the Anti-Defamation League, which are calling for structural changes to our online world."    

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