Daily Mail

You watched me suffer as my sister spread lies

Meghan pours out her heart in moving letter to estranged father

- By Claire Duffin and Rebecca English

THE Duchess of Sussex has accused her father of siding with her halfsister in their bitter family feud.

In a deeply personal handwritte­n note, Meghan said Thomas Markle, 74, had simply watched while she ‘silently suffered’ at the hands of her ‘vicious lies’.

Samantha Markle, 54, Mr Markle’s daughter from his first marriage, has given a number of interviews in which she has been highly critical about Meghan’s character, including calling her a ‘social climber with a soft spot for gingers’.

In the five-page letter released by Mr Markle yesterday, Meghan says it had caused her to ‘ crumble inside’ and also begs her father to stop ‘breaking her heart’ by giving interviews of his own and attacking her husband Prince Harry.

But her father said that rather than the ‘olive branch’ he hoped for from his daughter, the letter was a ‘dagger to the heart’.

Yesterday friends of Meghan and Harry suggested that the anguish expressed by the duchess was indicative of the stress and pressure she faced last year, particular­ly in relation to her father. In the letter, written in August, Meghan asks her father to stop ‘exploiting’ her relationsh­ip with Harry for financial gain, begging him to let them live their lives in peace.

The 37-year-old also accuses him of lying about why their relationsh­ip has broken down and of being ungrateful for the financial support she has given him. Chastising him for siding with Samantha, she says he ‘fixated’ on the ‘lies [the Press] were writing about me, especially those manufactur­ed by your other daughter, who I barely know’.

The extraordin­ary letter lays bare the full extent of the devastatin­g falling out between the pair. Their relationsh­ip has been strained since Mr Markle, who is separated from Meghan’s mother Doria, was exposed colluding with a paparazzi photograph­er.

He subsequent­ly suffered two heart attacks and pulled out of the royal wedding on May 19. Meghan accuses him of lying about being shunned by her and the Royal Family, saying she had tried to contact him and sent people to his home but he had ignored her.

And she criticises him for not calling her to tell her he could not walk her down the aisle at her wedding – Prince Charles stepped in at the last minute.

‘From my phone alone, I called you over 20 times and you ignored my calls… leaving me in the days before our wedding worried, confused, shocked and absolutely blindsided,’ she writes.

Royal insiders insist this is true, claiming that Mr Markle chose to reveal his non-attendance to a USbased showbusine­ss website two days before he contacted the couple on May 16. Mr Markle insisted yesterday he had sent her a text informing her doctors had told him he was not well enough to fly.

He texted Meghan several times after the wedding, as well as sending a reply to her letter, he said, but the number he has for her no longer works. Mr Markle said: The way they were: Meghan was once very close to her father Thomas. Left: Her half-sister Samantha, 4 ‘They just stopped talking to me.’

In one text he wrote: ‘I don’t like speaking to the Press but when the announceme­nt for the baby came out, seven cars and reporters were outside my house every day for seven days. I gave a statement and all the cars went away.’

Mr Markle said he never intended to make Meghan’s letter public ‘out of respect’ for her but had no choice after its contents had been ‘falsely’ portrayed in an article published in the US last week.

‘Meghan cannot have it both ways,’ he said. ‘She cannot use the Press to get her message across but hang me out to dry.’

In the US magazine, five of ‘those who know Meghan best’ were said to have spoken to ‘set the record straight’ about the duchess and how she had tried to patch up her difference­s with her father. Mr Markle, a retired Hollywood lighting director now living in Mexico, said it was unfair his daughter’s friends were allowed to ‘spin a line’ while he had been told off for giving a ‘handful’ of interviews.

‘I was expecting something that would be a pathway to reconcilia­tion. Instead, it was deeply hurtful,’ he said. ‘There was no loving message in there, nothing asking about my health, nothing from her saying, “Let’s get together and heal our difference­s.” This is not the girl I know. It’s not the way she talks,’ he told the Mail on Sunday. The letter begins ‘Daddy’, and is signed ‘Meg’. Mr Markle said: ‘Love isn’t mentioned once.’

Of Samantha, he said he could not control her, as he could not control Meghan – and he had not attacked Harry. He had apologised ‘hundreds’ of times for agreeing to do the staged paparazzi pictures.

‘I made a mistake. I did the pictures because I was tired of being portrayed as a slob,’ he said. ‘All it would take is one phone call and most of this craziness would stop.’

Samantha Markle responded, tweeting: ‘ Truth always wins.’ Later she wrote: ‘ The PR staff should just quit right now. It’s impossible to make the ocean dry up with a blow dryer.’

Under a picture with the words ‘no liars in heaven’ she wrote: ‘All the method acting in the world will not convince God LOL and he has a great sense of humor.’

Kensington Palace declined to comment on a ‘private matter’. It is understood, however, that the excerpts published from the letter are ‘selective’ and a small part of what was written.

‘Worried, confused and shocked’ ‘This is not the girl I know’

 ??  ??
 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom