Meghan Markle spoke with Althea Bernstein, an 18-year-old Black woman, who was the victim of an alleged hate crime in Wisconsin last week, E! News has learned.
The Duchess of Sussex and husband Prince Harry called her over the weekend to “offer their support and hopefully be a small source of comfort.”
According to NBC News, police in Madison launched a hate crime investigation after the young woman said a group of white men doused her with lighter fluid and set her on fire. The police department’s incident report states that Bernstein told investigators that she saw four white men and “she says one used a spray bottle to deploy a liquid on her face and neck, and then threw a flaming lighter at her, causing the liquid to ignite.”
Additionally, the report states that Bernstein was able to put out the flames and drove him. Once there, her mother told her to go to the hospital, where the 18-year-old was told that the liquid was, in fact, believed to be lighter fluid.
Meghan got in touch with Bernstein through the president of the Boys & Girls Club of Dane Country, Michael Johnson, according to Wisconsin news outlet Channel 3000. Johnson has also been acting as a spokesperson for Bernstein and said the Duke and Duchess talked on the phone with the young woman for about 40 minutes on Saturday afternoon.