What is ghosting? Meaning of the term and why Piers Morgan says he was 'ghosted' by Meghan Markle

Ghosting someone involves cutting off contact in an attempt to end a relationship

Piers Morgan’s and Meghan Markle’s history has come under intense scrutiny following the Duchess of Sussex’s explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey.

After the tell-all chat was broadcast, former Good Morning Britain presenter Morgan has been incredibly vocal about his opinions surrounding Meghan.

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He has now claimed that several members of the royal family contacted him to thank him for publicly calling out Markle and Prince Harry.

Meghan Markle and Piers Morgan were once friends who went for drinks, the presenter has claimed (Getty Images)

It is now difficult to believe that Morgan and the duchess were once friends, with the former insisting that the relationship went downhill after Meghan “ghosted” him.

So, what does ghosting mean - and what has Morgan said about his history with the Duchess of Sussex?

Here is everything you need to know.

What does ‘ghosting’ mean?

“Ghosting” is a term most often used in modern dating.

It describes the moment that someone abruptly stops communicating with the person they have been talking to, seeing, or even in a relationship with.

Usually, the one carrying out the ghosting hopes that the sudden lack of contact will cause the other person to realise that they are not interested in them.

It is also seen as an easy way to end a relationship, as the ghoster often believes they are doing the right thing by not explicitly telling the other person that they don’t want to date them anymore, sparing them from hurt or embarrassment.

Yet, the person who is ghosted can be left feeling confused, upset and wondering what went wrong.

Many relationship experts believe that ghosting is related to a person’s maturity levels and communication skills (or lack thereof).

Where did the term come from?

It is believed that Hannah VanderPoel, a New York-based writer and cartoonist, coined the term back in 2014 when she released a parody music video titled “Ghoster’s Paradise” on YouTube.

She realised her dates were disappearing into thin air - thanks to modern online dating culture - and she needed a way to describe it.

Since then, “ghosting” has become a common phrase in the everyday world of dating in the digital age.

In February 2017, it was officially added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, with the entry described as: “The act or practice of abruptly cutting off all contact with someone (such as a former romantic partner) by no longer accepting or responding to phone calls, instant messages, etc.”

What did Piers Morgan say about Meghan Markle ‘ghosting’ him?

The former GMB host’s friendship with the Duchess of Sussex began in 2015, while she was acting on the show Suits.

Morgan claimed that Meghan “slid” into his direct messages after he followed her on social media, along with other cast members of the hit TV series.

He has previously publicly shared a message he received from the duchess, in which she told him she was a “big fan” of his.

Apparently, the pair began regularly messaging each other and emailing after that.

Morgan said Meghan “even started sending me early preview episodes of her show so we could debate juicy storylines yet to air – which we did, at length”.

Then, a year later, Meghan flew over to the UK to watch close friend Serena Williams play at Wimbledon.

Morgan revealed that she met him at The Scarsdale Tavern pub, where the two “talked about life and the universe and Donald Trump and everything, her days as a Deal or No Deal suitcase girl”.

The journalist said the drinks date led him to think of Meghan as a “delightful person”.

Later that same evening, Meghan left to go to a private member’s club where it is thought she met Prince Harry for the first time.

According to Morgan, that was the last time he ever heard from her.

He claimed: "She met Prince Harry at the dinner that night, went on a solo date with him the next night, and I never heard from her again.

“Not a word. I’d been ghosted."

What happened to their relationship after that?

While Morgan seemed to be annoyed about the demise of his relationship with the duchess, he nevertheless congratulated Harry and Meghan where they were engaged in 2017.

But things seemed to take a turn for the worse after that, as Morgan’s criticism of the pair started to escalate, culminating in him calling for the couple to be stripped of their royal titles in 2020.

He has repeatedly claimed that the royal pair don’t wish for privacy and instead are using the media for self-promotion.

And talking on GMB after the Oprah chat aired, he said: “I’m angry to the point of bawling over today. I’m sickened by what I just had to watch.

“This is a two-hour trashathon of our royal family, of the monarchy and everything our queen has worked so hard for… they trash everybody.”

Viewers were also deeply shocked when Morgan went on to say he didn’t believe Meghan when she told Oprah she “didn’t want to live anymore”.

Shortly after he made the comments, the controversial presenter left the morning show.

Morgan gave his first interview since quitting on Fox’s Tucker Carlson on Monday 5 April, where he reiterated some of his claims.

He said: "I don't believe what Meghan Markle said - 17 different claims by the pair of them have now been proven to be either completely untrue or massively exaggerated or unprovable.

“And I don't understand really why I should have to believe people who are not telling the truth."