He also provided an explanation that he felt cornered into staging the photos because he felt totally unprotected by Meghan, Prince Harry, and the wider royal family in the face of constant press photographers at his home in Rosarito, Mexico.
Thomas Markle, who says he does not like being constantly photographed by the press, keeps speaking to the press.
'What I do if I don’t hear from them, is I’ll do a story for the press.'— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) March 9, 2021
Thomas Markle speaks to Piers and Susanna about Meghan and Harry's interview with Oprah and also shares his hopes of reconnecting with his daughter.https://t.co/h3QfrYUoDe
“I wish I hadn’t done the whole thing,” Thomas Markle, 76, told Good Morning Britain on Tuesday.
“My oldest daughter was contacted by a man named Jeff Rayner who was a photographer, who said, ‘If you can convince your dad, we can make him look good,'” Thomas told the GMB reporters.
“For an entire year, outside my house, somebody was taking photographs of me. I couldn’t go anywhere or do anything without being photographed buying something, coming out of a store,” he continued.
“And god forbid I’m buying beer for the guys at the guard gate… everybody knows I don’t drink. But I bought beers for the guys at my guard gate,” he elaborated. “They [reporters] were making me an alcoholic, calling me names, talking about the way I dress.
“So, I, yes, I went for this deal where this man 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.”
The interview with Thomas follows Meghan and Harry’s blockbuster interview with Oprah on CBS. It was her first appearance with Oprah since her 2017 engagement was announced. Meghan was asked about the paparazzi photo incident with her father and Oprah asked her whether it “felt like betrayal” when she learned her dad “was working with the tabloids” in staging the photos.
"'I just need you to tell me. And if you tell me the truth, we can help.' And he wasn't able to do that." — Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, on a conversation she had with her father regarding tabloids #OprahMeghanHarry pic.twitter.com/XhPwGM0Uvl— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) March 8, 2021
“The tabloids had apparently known [her father’s location] for a month or so and decided to hold until the Sunday before our wedding because they wanted to create drama,” the Duchess replied.
“We called my dad and I asked him [about the staged photos] he said, ‘No, absolutely not,'” Meghan continued.
“I said, ‘I just need you to tell me and if you tell me the truth, we can help,’ and he wasn’t able to do that,” said Meghan who is mother to 22-month-old Archie and is also expecting a baby girl this summer. “That, for me, has really resonated, especially now as a mother.”
“I look at Archie, I think about this child [on the way], and I genuinely can’t imagine doing anything to intentionally cause pain to my child. I can’t imagine it. So it’s hard for me to reconcile that,” the Duchess revealed.
Thomas Markle confirmed that he and Meghan have not spoke and expressed his regrets for not being there for her during her troubling time in the UK.
Meghan and her father have not spoken since the images were printed in the UK and previously communicated via text while he was recovering from heart surgery in the lead-up to her May 2018 wedding at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, People reports.
“At that point we pretty much said goodbye,” said Thomas Markle on Tuesday on Good Morning Britain, adding that he conclusively hung up because Harry had texted him, “If you had listened to me, this wouldn’t have happened to you.”
“Me laying in a hospital bed after I’d had a procedure and getting a stent put here and a stent put here (points to his chest), felt that that was kind of snotty, so I hung up on him,” Thomas explained. “And that’s the last conversation we ever had.”
Although he feels he’s apologized for the photos “at least 100 times or so,” he told Good Morning Britain that he remains estranged from Meghan. He said it’s become even more painful following her dramatic revelation about just how mentally traumatizing her life was inside the royal family.
“I love my daughter very much,” Thomas said Tuesday. “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 my side. So, she really had no one to reach out to. She would have had us if she’d kept us.”
“The bottom line is, she didn’t lose me. She made a statement saying she lost me. She didn’t lose me. I would have always been there for her. I’m there for her now if she wants me.”
“I’d like to say again, I’m sorry for what I’ve done,” Thomas said in conclusion. “This was two years ago. This was a long time ago and I’ve certainly tried to make up for it. The stories in the paper, each time are because I haven’t heard from you. They know where I live, now we’re closer together, they’re probably about 70 miles from me now. So, I’m available any time that we can get together. I’d love to get together. I’d certainly like to see my grandson.”
We think Mr. Markle might have better luck of regaining his daughter’s good graces if he did not do interviews with the British press. After all, it’s the same institution that vilified Meghan countless times during her time in the UK. She quit it, can he?
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
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