Stephen A. Smith claims no one cares about Harry and Meghan

ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith claims no one cares about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ‘unless they’re insulting their family’ after his former colleague Bill Simmons branded them ‘f***ing grifters’

  • The Sussexes and Spotify announced they have ‘mutually agreed to part ways’ 
  • Former ESPNer Bill Simmons called them ‘f***ing grifters’ after the split
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ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith bizarrely waded in on the British Royal family Tuesday as he delivered a scathing verdict of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. 

The pundit is the latest media personality to deliver his opinion on the couple in the wake of their split from Sportify. 

Top Spotify executive and former ESPNer Bill Simmons labeled Harry and Markle ‘f***ing grifters’ after the Sussexes split with the music streaming giant.

Now, Smith, speaking on his self-titled podcast, claimed no one is interested in the couple unless they are making headlines with their feud with the Royal family. 

‘If Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex ain’t complaining about the royal family, I don’t know if anybody cares what they have to say,’ Smith said on ‘The Stephen A. Smith Show.’

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith delivered a scathing verdict of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Spotify and the Sussexes last week said they have ‘mutually agreed to part ways and are proud of the series we made together’. Meghan and Harry are seen at the Ms. Foundation Women of Vision Awards in New York, May 16, 2023

‘[…] I’m not trying to dog [Meghan Markle] like she doesn’t have any talent or anything like that. She did damn good on [the show ‘Suits’]… I love ‘Suits.’ Matter of fact, I’m gonna watch it again… I love that show […]

‘But what I’m saying is, you don’t really care what they have to say unless they’re insulting their family.’

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex produced only one 13-episode series of a podcast for the company despite signing a $20 million deal three years ago.

Spotify and the Sussexes’s production company Archewell Audio released a joint statement on Thursday evening saying they have ‘mutually agreed to part ways and are proud of the series we made together’.

‘The f***ing grifters,’ Simmons said as he slated the pair on an episode of his own platform The Bill Simmons Podcast on Friday.

In the recent episode, Simmons told guest sports journalist Ryen Russillo: ‘The f***ing grifters. That’s the podcast we should have launched with them.’

‘I’ve got to get drunk one night and tell the story of the Zoom I had with Harry to try and help him with a podcast idea. It’s one of my best stories,’ he added.

Smith, who was continuously confused over whether to refer to Meghan as the Princess or Duchess of Sussex, went on to play a snippet of Simmons’s comments on Harry and Meghan, noting his former colleague seemed happy they had left Spotify. 

Bill Simmons, who sold his podcast and sports journalism company The Ringer to Spotify for $200 million in 2020, now works as Spotify’s head of podcast innovation. He is pictured at The GRAMMY Museum on March 23, 2023 in Los Angeles

The Duchess of Sussex produced only one 13-episode series of a podcast for the company 

‘Hell, you thought I was bad? Bill Simmons went off!’ Smith said. ‘Now, Bill Simmons is my contemporary, former colleague at ESPN… I like Bill. I respect the hell out of Bill Simmons, ain’t no shade here. But Bill Simmons was going off… The Duchess of Sussex, along with Prince Harry, Bill Simmons seemed very happy they were gone.’

Smith, who said Princess Diana ‘seemed like a very, very nice lady,’ continued to admit that he had to look up the definition of a ‘grifter,’ saying he wasn’t aware of what it meant. 

‘Ladies and Gentlemen, I pride myself on having a relatively extensive vocabulary,’ he said. ‘I never knew what the hell grifters meant. So, I had to look it up.

‘… A grifter is a con artist: someone who swindles people out of their money through fraud. That is what Bill Simmons called Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle.

‘In all seriousness, he’s qualified to say that. I am not, because I know nothing of them. I know nothing about their [Spotify] deal. I’m appalled that my daughter can tell me about it…and then I realized, although I wouldn’t call them any names and I certainly wouldn’t be derogatory or incendiary towards them on a personal level.’

Smith also admitted that he found Simmons’s comments to have gone too far. 

‘I didn’t think that was necessary, but then again, he works at Spotify, not me. So, he knows more than I would ever know about that particular situation, which means it came from a personal place,’ he said.

‘Again I know nothing,’ he added. ‘You can’t find a human being on this planet less interested in the royal family than me.’ 

Simmons first gained notoriety with his website The Boston Sports Guy in which he started writing sports columns. It became successful enough that he was picked up by ESPN in the early 2000s, eventually writing for its Page 2 section and then heading up its blog Grantland.

The move to ditch the Duchess of Sussex’s Archetypes podcast follows discussions months ago about renewing it for a second series. The two are pictured at the Nelson Mandela Centenary Exhibition at the Southbank Centre, July 17, 2018

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex signed a $20 million deal three years ago

During his tenure at ESPN, he was at one point America’s most read sports writer.

After leaving ESPN, and a short failed venture with HBO, Simmons launched his own website The Ringer in 2016. The outlet focused on sports and pop culture as well as podcasts.

The Ringer was then sold to Spotify in 2020 for a reported $200 million. Simmons still remains CEO of the outlet and retains editorial control.

He also joined Spotify as an executive, heading up podcast innovation and monetization in which he has worked with the Sussexes on their somewhat lackluster podcast ventures.

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