Despite Meghan Markle’s recent claims that she was treated like a “bimbo” during her time on Deal or No Deal, Donna Feldman says that wasn’t her experience at all. HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with the former “Briefcase Beauty,” who shared her perspective after she held case No. 22 during the first season of the hit NBC show.
“I have read Meghan’s comments about being treated like a ‘bimbo’ while working on Deal or No Deal, but I have to disagree with what is being said,” The Oval actress stated. “During my time on the show, neither myself nor anybody else I worked with was ever treated as such, in my opinion. However, it’s important to note that everyone has their own experience, and I can only speak from mine.”
“Everybody knows what you’re signing up for when you’re hired as a ‘Briefcase Beauty.’ Being hired based off your looks comes with the territory and since Deal or No Deal was one of the biggest shows on NBC, if you’re pro-active with your career, then you make the most of it and grow your resume from there,” the model continued. “Although I’ve received numerous opportunities based off my looks, it’s my intellect, my personality, and strong work ethic that contribute to me getting hired on a regular basis.”
“Of course, there were some things about working on the show that weren’t always fantastic,” Donna admitted. “Not being allowed to sit down in stilettos because I might wrinkle my dress or having to line up in a row making sure everyone looked the way they should, but I also was never a fan of beauty pageants for that same reason. It wasn’t the best feeling for any of the women’s self-esteem, but you have to remind yourself that you were hired for your presence and your positivity, and it paid off because we would get so much fan mail from people that were always happy seeing our smiling faces on screen.”
“Coincidentally, I ran into Howie Mandel earlier this week and I have to say that he is one of the kindest, classiest people I have ever had the pleasure to work with,” Donna added. “I’m so thankful for my time on Deal or No Deal. The producers had me on a TV commercial during the Olympics, Maxim put me on their most beautiful women in the world lists, and it was all thanks to the exposure from the show. I booked a TV show as a series regular after my first season on Deal or No Deal, have been on countless magazine covers, and continue to have a 20-year career at this point with modeling campaigns, movies, acting on TV shows, and now having my own production company, as well. It’s thanks to experiences like that. I feel grateful to NBC and to all the producers of the show for my time there. I have done so many ads for upscale clients and now am the new face of Cadillac’s most expensive luxury car, Celestiq, after it was just unveiled.”
“It’s up to a woman to decide what experience will empower her, or whether she decides to use as an excuse to seek attention. I would say I’ve done well for someone who was allegedly hired to be a ‘bimbo’,” Donna declared.
It appears that Donna isn’t the only former briefcase beauty who has spoken out about Meghan’s recent claims. RHOA alum Claudia Jordan also starred on the popular game show and explained in an interview with TMZ why she felt differently. “I am not bashing Meghan, I am not invalidating her experience. It’s actually sad that she felt that,” the reality star said. “I didn’t know that she felt this way about being a bimbo because it certainly wasn’t the intention of the show.”
Before she became the Duchess of Sussex after marrying Prince Harry, the Suits star was a briefcase model during the second season of Deal or No Deal in 2006 and 2007, where she held box No. 24. Meghan, 41, opened up about her experience when she chatted with Paris Hilton on the new episode of her Spotify podcast Archetypes. “I was thankful for the job, but not for how it made me feel, which was not smart,” Meghan explained. “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.”
Meghan explained that she would wrap each episode of the show “with this pit in my stomach knowing that I was so much more than what was being objectified on the stage.” She continued, “I didn’t like being 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 word ‘bimbo.’”