Meghan Markle's Deal or No Deal co-star hits back at 'bimbo' claims

A former Deal or No Deal star has hit back at Meghan Markle’s claims that she was ‘objectified’ on the NBC game show and treated like a ‘bimbo’.

The Real Housewives of Atlanta’s Claudia Jordan shared her vastly different experience on Instagram, saying that she was grateful for her time on the game show.

L: Claudia Jordan holding a Deal or No Deal briefcase. R: Meghan Markle as a Deal or No Deal model
Claudia Jordan has hit back at Meghan Markle's claims. Photo: Getty

The Duchess of Sussex spoke about her short stint on Deal or No Deal during an episode of her Archetypes podcast this week, saying that she quit because the show valued ‘beauty over brains’.

Claudia famously held briefcase number one on the game show and worked as a ‘briefcase model’ from 2005 to 2009.


The talk show host said she disagreed with Meghan through a lengthy statement on Instagram.

“For clarity - yes getting a modelling on a game show isn't necessarily about your intellect, but 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,” she told fans.

“And Deal or No Deal never treated us like bimbos. We got so many opportunities because of that show.”

The star said she “enjoyed her experience” working on the show, and added that it could lead to other opportunities if you “seize your moments”.

“If you just show up and don’t engage — then you’ll just get your cheque and not get much out of it.”

The reality TV star added that the show gave her great exposure which led to a long-time career in the media.

“It was a step on the ladder I've been ascending on for 25 years that paid all my bills, put me in front of 13 million people a night, and led to me getting on Celebrity Apprentice, Celebrity Apprentice All Stars, a breast cancer awareness campaign, guest hosting Extra, getting into People magazine's 100 Most Beautiful issue, and so much more,” she gushed.

Deal or No Deal models in red dresses holding briefcases
The reality TV star was on the show for four seasons. Photo: Getty Images

She sledged Meghan’s ‘bimbo’ comment, saying that she was able to co-host the 2009 Miss Universe pageant with host Billy Bush, which wasn’t ‘too shabby for a bimbo’.

While Claudia assured her fans she’s still a staunch protector of Meghan, and has been for years, she couldn’t stand by and see Deal or No Deal host Howie Mandel’s name be dragged through the mud.

“I’m especially protective of Howie Mandel, who was nothing but kind and respectful to all 26 of us [briefcase models],” she said.

Some fans weren’t happy with the statement, and accused the former Celebrity Apprentice star of diminishing Meghan’s ‘feelings’.

Claudia took to Instagram to clear it up, and said this was just her own experience.

“Way too many people can’t read or comprehend basic English. I didn’t invalidate Meghan’s feelings — I just clearly stated mine. Her feelings are her feelings. But I wanted to make it clear that in my opinion it wasn’t the environment there that brought that about. Relax,” she wrote.

Meghan Markle holding briefcase 24 on Deal or No Deal in a blue dress
The Duchess of Sussex was told to 'suck it in' before going on stage. Photo: Getty

Meghan's shocking claim

This comes after Meghan shared an upsetting memory from the Deal or No Deal set.

Speaking on her Archetypes podcast, she said there was one crew member she would "never forget".

“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, ‘Markell [sic], suck it in! Markell [sic], suck it in!’

“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,” she said.

Elsewhere in the podcast, Meghan also told her guest Paris Hilton that she wants more for her daughter Lilibet than becoming a ‘bimbo’.

“When I hear the word bimbo, I have a very negative connotation to it. I don’t see that as an aspirational thing for a woman," she began.

“I want our daughters to aspire to be slightly higher. Yeah, I want my Lili to be educated and want to be smart, and to pride herself on those things.”

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