Last week, the 33-year-old actress made headlines for a letter she wrote to her and James Righton‘s daughter, Edie, 3, which is featured in Scarlett Curtis‘ new book Feminists Don’t Wear Pink (And Other Lies). Knightley’s letter, entitled “The Weaker Sex,” talks about the Duchess of Cambridge’s behavior and appearance following the birth of her and Prince William‘s daughter, Princess Charlotte, in 2015. The actress compared Middleton’s actions to her own following the birth of Edie.
“She was out of hospital seven hours later with her face made up and high heels on,” Knightley wrote in the essay. “The face the world wants to see. Hide. Hide our pain, our bodies splitting, our breasts leaking, our hormones raging. Look beautiful, look stylish, don’t show your battleground, Kate.”
“Seven hours after your fight with life and death, seven hours after your body breaks open, and bloody, screaming life comes out. Don’t show. Don’t tell,” Knightley went on to write. “Stand there with your girl and be shot by a pack of male photographers. This stuff is easy. It happens every day. What’s the big deal? So does death, you s–t-heads, but you don’t have to pretend that’s easy.”
Knightley also detailed how after her childbirth experience, loved ones came to visit her at the hospital while she “wore a hospital gown with paper pants on” and was still bleeding.
“My breast is out in front of them all and I don’t care,” she wrote to her daughter. “Your life is my life. You need me. I’m there. F–k them all with their eyes watching, their embarrassed faces at my animalistic semi-nudity. Is this soft motherhood?”
Knightley responded to the claims that she shamed Middleton at the premiere of her new film, Collette, at the 2018 BFI London Film Festival on Thursday.
“I think it’s very interesting that certain parts of the media have, I don’t want to say purposefully, but let’s just say misrepresented my meaning and exactly what I said,” Knightley said via the Press Association. “So I would suggest to those people in the media that they re-read the entirety of the essay and not just take one bit out of it because the comments that I made are completely about our culture that silences women’s truths and forces us all to hide and I absolutely did not shame anybody in any way, in fact quite the opposite.”
Knightley continued, “So I would say to everybody, there is a wonderful book out at the moment, it’s called Feminists Don’t Wear Pink (And Other Lies) and I suggest if you want to know about this then you should actually read the essay and all the others in the book and the wonderful thing is that all the proceeds go to Girl Up which is a phenomenal UN foundation which gives money to organizations that are supporting girls’ education, girls’ safety and girls’ leadership in developing countries.”