AceShowbiz - Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, has given a morale boost to a biracial teen who was allegedly set alight in a brutal hate crime in Wisconsin.
The former "Suits" star connected with Althea Bernstein in a 40-minute phone call on Saturday, June 27, to offer her support to the 18-year-old, who was in her car when she was reportedly targeted by four white men in a racially-charged attack last week.
Meghan's husband, Britain's Prince Harry, also briefly joined the chat to share a few words of encouragement for Althea, according to Michael Johnson, CEO and President of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County, who helped to put the trio in touch.
In an interview with local news outlet Channel 3000, Johnson, who has been speaking out on behalf of Bernstein, revealed the Duchess encouraged the youngster to avoid the negativity on social media and focus on her own wellbeing.
"(Bernstein) and Meghan talked about the importance of self care and allowing herself to heal," he said.
The mother-of-one also expressed her desire to "stay in touch" with Bernstein, who was thrilled with the royal call.
Discussing how Bernstein has been coping in the aftermath of her attack, he explained, "She's struggling. 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."
And the Duchess has even offered to play motivational speaker for young girls in the Wisconsin-area Boys & Girls Clubs, addressing kids in a virtual town hall, which Johnson plans to set up in the coming weeks.
"As I heard her, I thought, 'She has to talk to more kids,' and I'm thankful she agreed to do it," he explained.
Police are still investigating the attack on Bernstein, who claims she was called a racial slur by a white man while she was stopped at a red light. She was then sprayed with what is thought to have been lighter fluid, as a lit lighter was hurled at her.
Bernstein suffered burns to her face, but was able to put out the rest of the flames.