Author rejects allegation Meghan Markle ‘plagiarised’ her children’s book

Corrinne Averiss said there are no similarities between ‘The Bench’ and her earlier book ‘The Boy On The Bench’

The Duchess of Sussex
The Duchess of Sussex
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A children’s author has dismissed claims that Meghan Markle copied her work with her newly announced children’s story, The Bench.

The duchess announced on 4 May that she was publishing a children’s book based on a poem she had written for Prince Harry shortly after the birth of their son, Archie, in 2019.

But the book was trolled by some critics who claimed that she had copied Corrinne Averiss’s The Boy On The Bench in both its cover and illustrations.

On Wednesday, Averiss posted on Twitter, saying she had read a published excerpt of Meghan’s book and that it bears no similarities to her earlier title.

“Reading the description and published excerpt of the Duchess’s new book, this is not the same story or the same theme as The Boy on the Bench. I don’t see any similarities,” Averiss wrote.

Some alleged the duchess had lifted the concept of the book, which is about a boy whose father helps him finds the confidence to socialise with other children.

“Interesting through that it’s almost identical to British Author Corrinne Averiss’s book called 'The Boy on the Bench' from 2018 about a young boy & his father. Surely #MeghanMarkle, #DuchessofSussex wouldn't use someone else's work, tweaked it & issued it as her own?!” one person wrote.

Averiss’ front cover depicts a father and son sitting on a bench under a tree as other children play on a slide nearby, while Markle’s front cover features a bench and birds, under a tree.

The Bench, which is set to be released on 8 June, focuses on the special bond between a father and son. The story is told through the eyes of a mother and was inspired by Prince Harry and baby Archie.

On Twitter, users have applauded Averiss for coming to the Duchess’ defence.

“The way people try and belittle Meghan, imagine minding your own business and strangers start spreading your name around as a way to slight a woman they're obsessed with. Thank you Ms. Averiss, another book to add to gift lists!” one user said.

Another wrote: “@CorrinneAveriss did not have to do this; but, she did. THIS is how you lift up and support women- by showing kindness and fighting against the lies. I am absolutely going to buy a copy of her book, “The Boy on the Bench! Let's show support #sussexsquad.”

The Bench is being published by Random House Books.

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