Meghan Markle’s father Thomas Markle is said to be “deeply embarrassed” after reports that he staged paparazzi photos.
According to The Daily Mail, Markle’s son and Meghan’s half-brother Thomas Jr. said his father will be apologizing to both his daughter and Prince Harry ahead of their wedding this weekend.
The Mail also reported that plans have not changed for Markle to walk his daughter down the aisle on Saturday.
“I think it’s a real shame, I think that she deserves to have a family around her and I think any daughter on their wedding day want to have their father there. I don’t know the extenuating circumstances for it but I just hope that everything goes well for Harry and Meghan on the day,” Meghan’s half-sister Samantha tells the Associated Press. “I mean it’s every girl’s dream to have their father but obviously there are different circumstances in this so I’m sure whatever she will have a wonderful day.”
Mr. Markle is claimed to have worked with a paparazzo to pose for a series of photos showing him getting measured for a suit and sitting at an internet cafe. The 73-year-old and the photographer were seen together on CCTV footage apparently planning to take the photos at the cafe.
It is not known whether Markle was paid for his involvement in taking the photos, but on Monday The Daily Mail reported that Samantha claimed responsibility for the paparazzi idea.
Samantha tweeted at the official Kensington Palace account, explaining that she suggested he take “positive photos.” She added, “It was not for money,” responding to reports that the pictures could have netted her father up to £100,000.
“I think my father really suffered at the hands of the media, they’ve presented him in the most horrible ways, highly inaccurate, and the goal of those photographs was basically because he was feeling defenseless. They had the advantage of portraying him however they wanted, which was entirely inaccurate, and I think a person has the right to say ‘wait a minute, enough is enough, I want to be portrayed how I really am,'” she tells the Associated Press.
Samantha also appeared on Monday’s “Loose Women”, where she took the blame entirely when asked about the photos.
Speaking live from Florida, she explained: “I have to say I am entirely the culprit. As we know the media can take very unflattering photographs of people on their casual days and blow it way out of proportion. I said, ‘you know, the world has no idea you’re getting in shape, doing healthy things.’
“They don’t photograph you buying vegetables and PH water. They photograph you [in] as [many] unflattering ways as they can.’ So I said, ‘really you need to show the world that you’re getting in shape and doing great healthy things.'”
When she was then asked if she could categorically say her father did or did not receive money for the photographs, Samantha said: “I don’t believe so and that was not the motive. I have no idea but if he did I’m going to assume it was a pittance. They don’t pay that much. It was really so that the world could see him doing the healthy things he enjoys doing.”
She added: “Let me clarify, he’s 73, which makes him a bit more fragile. He’s a quiet man. I feel that the media have unfairly preyed on him. He’s really been admirable about laying low and not speaking out, with all due respect.
“I merely wanted him to be seen in a respectable light. I didn’t feel that was being done so I suggested that the photographers show him as he is, doing positive things and that was never addressed.”