Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, has addressed the rift with her father and her half-sister in newly released footage from her much talked about interview with talk show host Oprah Winfrey.
In the previously unaired clip, Meghan opens up about her tense relationship with Thomas Markle and feeling betrayed when he went behind her back and spoke to the press ahead of her royal wedding with Prince Harry in 2018.
“There was such an obsession about anything in my world, including tracking down my parents. And I did everything I could to protect both of them in that media frenzy,” the Duchess of Sussex is seen telling Winfrey. “But for over a year, the UK tabloids were trying to find my dad, offering people so much money to try to find his address.
“Once they did, I remember being told there was a huge headline like, ‘We found him’ or ‘We’ve got him.’ You’re talking about someone’s father. And from that point, the tabloids, they moved into the apartment next door and across from him. Descended on this small town, which is giving him gifts. The whole thing brings us to where we are today.”
Winfrey prodded further, asking Meghan whether she felt betrayed by her father after he eventually spoke to the tabloids. Meghan said she did not know if she was comfortable “even talking about that.”
She further added: “If we were going to use the word betrayal, it’s because when I asked him, when we were told by the comms team, this is a story that was going to be coming out, which, by the way, the tabloids had apparently known for a month or so and decided to hold until the Sunday before our wedding because they wanted to create drama, which is also a really key point in all this. The tabloids do not report news, they create the news.”
The Duchess of Sussex said her father said he had “absolutely not” been speaking to the press when she called to ask him. “I said, you know, the institution has never intervened for anything for us, but they can try to go in and kill this story. But if they do this once, we’re not going to be able to use that same leverage to protect our own kids one day,” Meghan added.
“So he basically lied to you,” Winfrey said.
Meghan continued saying she offered to help her father if he told them the truth. “He wasn’t able to do that. And that for me has really resonated, especially now as a mother,” she said. “And also me saying just full stop, if we use this to protect you, we won’t be able to protect our own children one day. Well, I’m talking about your grandchildren, so I can’t — I mean, I look at Archie. I think about this child and I go I can’t, I genuinely can’t imagine doing anything to intentionally cause pain to my child.”
The Duchess added that the press “hunted” her mother, Doria Ragland, down as well but she maintained a dignified silence.
Meghan speaks up on half-sister
Meghan also spoke up about her relationship with her half-sister Samantha Markle, who the Duchess said she hasn’t met in years. Samantha Markle has released a tell-all book titled ‘The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister Part 1’, which she claims exposes Meghan in a negative light.
Asked about the book, Meghan said: “It would be very hard to tell all when you don’t know me. I mean, this is a very different situation than my dad, right. When you talk about betrayal, betrayal comes from someone that you have a relationship with. Right. I don’t feel comfortable talking about people that I really don’t know. I mean, the last time I saw her must have been at least 18, 19 years ago. And before that, 10 years before that.”
Meghan said Samantha Markle had changed her last name in her early 50s when the duke and duchess first started dating.
“So I think that says enough,” she said.
Meanwhile, as the Prince Harry and Meghan bombshell interview continues to have a snowball effect, Thomas Markle is expected to speak out about the interview with talk show host Piers Morgan on ‘Good Morning Britain’ later today.
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Thomas Markle and Ragland divorced when their daughter was six years old, but they both played an active role raising her.
He spent many years supervising the lighting and camera crew for the ‘Married... With Children’ television show and often brought young Meghan to the set at Sunset Gower Studios.
Thomas Markle was set to walk Meghan down the aisle during the 2018 church ceremony, but dropped out after the British press reported he was paid to pose for photos that showed him getting measured for his wedding suit and making other preparations. Ultimately, Prince Charles walked Meghan down the aisle at the wedding, with Thomas Markle later stating he regretted pulling the stunt.
He has reportedly never met Prince Harry or his grandchild, Archie.