A second co-star of Meghan Markle during her stint at Deal or No Deal as a briefcase model spoke about her experience on the game show after the Duchess of Sussex opened up on the reason why she quit it in the early stage of her career. Model and TV personality Patricia Kara was asked whether the experience recalled by Meghan in her latest episode of the Spotify podcast series Archetypes sounded “familiar at all”.
Speaking to Inside Edition on Thursday night, Ms Kara said: “Not at all. It’s unfortunate that she felt that way because in my experience, I’ve never, ever felt that way.”
She also added “there was no bra station” in response to the remarks made by the Duchess over the preparation that went on before the show to make the briefcase models fit in a certain standard of beauty.
Ms Kara worked on NBC’s Deal or No Deal set throughout its five seasons and returned once again as a model in the CNBC revival aired in 2018.
Meghan, who studied theatre and international relations at Northwestern University, worked on the game show for 34 episodes between 2006 and 2007 while trying to land a more substantial role in her acting career.
Speaking about her experience on Deal or No Deal, the Duchess said she was thankful for the job as it was giving her financial security as well as health insurance, but did not appreciate how the attention was all on the models’ look rather than their brain.
Opening the sixth episode of Archetypes focused on the bimbo label, the Duchess said: “You have to imagine, just to paint the picture for you, that before the tapings of the show all the girls would line up and there were different stations and you had your lashes put on and your extensions put in and the padding in your bra.
“We were even given spray tan vouchers each week, because there was a very cookie-cutter idea of precisely what we should look like, it was solely about beauty and not necessarily about brains.
“And when I look back at that time, I will never forget this one detail, because moments before we’d get on stage there was a woman who ran the show and she would be there backstage and I can still hear her. She couldn’t properly pronounce my last name at the time and I knew who she was talking to because she would go ‘Markel, suck it in! Markel, suck it in!’
READ MORE: Edward VIII made up ‘cruel’ rumour about Queen Mother
“I ended up quitting the show, like I said I was thankful for the job but not for how it made me feel. Which was not smart. And by the way I was surrounded by smart women on that stage with me but that wasn’t the focus of why we were there.
“And I’d end up leaving with this pit in my stomach knowing that I was so much more than what was being objectified on the stage.
“I didn’t like feeling forced to be all looks and little substance. And that’s how it felt for me at the time. Being reduced to this specific archetype.”
The take on the game show by Meghan, who launched her podcast series aiming to explore labels that try to hold women back in late August, had already prompted another ex-briefcase model to share her own experience.
Claudia Jordan, currently a star in the reality show the Real Housewives of Atlanta, took to her Instagram Stories earlier this week to state “Deal or No Deal never treated us like bimbos”, adding the show opened up a series of career opportunities for her.
Ms Jordan, who took part in the game show between 2005 and 2009, wrote: “For clarity – yes getting a modelling gig on a game show isn’t necessarily about your intellect but for every show the executive producers picked five models with the most outgoing and fun personalities to place mics on who they knew would engage with the contestants.”
Deal or No Deal, she also said, was a “kind of opportunity that is what you make it”.
The TV host and personality added this response was not an attack on Meghan, saying: “This isn’t an attack on Meghan ’cause Lord knows I’ve been defending this woman in the media for years and I still will but I just didn’t want any misunderstanding about the climate and environment on the Deal or No Deal set. And I am especially protective of [Deal or No Deal host] Howie Mandel, who was nothing but kind and respectful to all 26 of us.”