Thomas Markle reacted to his daughter Meghan Markle and her husband Prince Harry‘s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey on Tuesday, and amid his defense of the British royal family, he voiced regret for the staged photos he took in Mexico that ultimately led to his estrangement from the Duchess of Sussex.
Speaking to ITV’s “Good Morning Britain” on Tuesday, Thomas Markle said he’s apologized for the photos that went viral of him just days ahead of Meghan and Harry’s 2018 royal wedding ceremony “at least 100 times or so.”
Still, the embattled father now claims he wishes he hadn’t participated in the staged photoshoot — one he admits he wasn’t truthful to his daughter about at the time.
“I wish I hadn’t done the whole thing but here’s the other side…It’s like no one took any time to protect any member of our family. We were attacked by the press every day – my oldest daughter, my son, myself, my grandchildren — all of us were attacked by the press. Nobody was there to care for us. No one looked after us,” the duchess’ father said to the outlet.
Thomas Markle spoke out about his fractured relationship with Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, following her and Prince Harry’s interview with Oprah Winfrey.
The 76-year-old father of Meghan also claimed he participated in the photoshoot because he believed it would make his reputation appear better after the press “were making me an alcoholic, they were calling me names, they were talking about how I dress.”
“So, yes, I went through this deal with this [photographer] who was going to make me look better. Maybe I got sucked into it but I believed him and I thought it was going to work. It didn’t work, of course. When it was exposed, I said, ‘What’s happening?'” Thomas continued. “Well, they waited three days before the marriage and released the photos. When that happened, I said, ‘How’d this happen? What do I do?’ He said, ‘Just deny it. It’ll go away in one day.’ It didn’t go away. It hasn’t gone away yet.”
In the same conversation, Thomas Markle explained his reasoning for talking to the press amid his estrangement from the duchess.
“Because they’re not talking to me. When they decide to talk to me, I’ll stop talking to the press,” Thomas said.
Thomas, speaking from Rosarito, Mexico, added that he “would love to hear” from the couple.
In terms of not being helped by the British royals amid persistence from the media, Thomas further claimed he was “left out to dry.”
“In spite of all that, I still apologize. I’m apologizing today again,” he said.
Meghan Markle’s estranged father says he would have ‘been there for’ his daughter amid suicidal thoughts she had during her first pregnancy.
Thomas Markle went on to claim that he feels he’s been “pushed around and knocked down for one thing I did.” He calls the photoshoot his “one big mistake.”
“I apolgoized for it as many times I possibly can. However, I love my daughter very much. Had I known she was having psychological problems, I would have been there for her. Biggest problem here is she’s pretty much ghosted all of her family on her mother’s side and on my side. She really had no one to reach out to. She would have had us if she kept us,” he concluded.
Winfrey shared Monday on “CBS This Morning” that Meghan revealed to her that her father was hunted down by the British press and showered with gifts in exchange for comment and stories about the Duchess of Sussex.
When she asked Meghan if she felt betrayed by her father for speaking to the tabloids, especially right before her wedding to Prince Harry, Meghan responded: “If we’re going to use the word betrayal, it’s because when I asked him, when the comms team told us this the story was coming out, we called my dad and I asked him and he said, ‘No, absolutely not.'”
Meghan said she tried to reason with him, “I just need you to tell me, if you tell me the truth we can help. And he wasn’t able to do that… that for me has really resonated as a mother.”
“I look at Archie and I can’t imagine doing anything to hurt my child. I can’t reconcile that,” Meghan added.
“Everyone has accountability. Look [the tabloids] hunted my mom down. You’ve never heard her say a word. She’s remained in silent dignity for four years watching me go through this,” Meghan described.
Meghan’s estranged half-sister Samantha has also spoken out and pushed back against her sister’s claims that they didn’t know one another well, as well as Meghan’s claim that Samantha changed her last name to Markle after the former “Suits” star began dating Harry.
Samantha showed Inside Edition that a petition to change her name to Markle was dated 1997 and her college diploma, which also reads “Markle.”
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).