Over the past month or so, there’s been plenty of messy celebrity news, but almost all of it has revolved around the coronavirus pandemic. Celebrities failing to quarantine, being tone-deaf on social media, trying to profit off the crisis—we’ve seen it all. But we all need a break from quarantine drama, and thankfully today’s messiness has absolutely nothing to do with COVID-19. We’re getting back into the soap opera that is Meghan Markle and her thirsty family, and I couldn’t be happier.
Let’s set the scene with some context. Right now, Meghan Markle is in a legal battle with British tabloid Mail on Sunday, after they published parts of a private letter she wrote to her father, Thomas Markle, in August 2018. In the latest round of legal documents, Mail on Sunday says that Thomas showed them the letter after one of Meghan’s friends mentioned it to People, so they did nothing wrong. But Meghan is arguing that she never authorized her friends to speak to People, so Mail on Sunday shouldn’t have even known about the letter. To be honest, I don’t really see why this is Mail on Sunday’s fault—shouldn’t Meghan be punishing whichever “friend” spilled the tea in the first place?
Whatever, I won’t try to decide the legal specifics here, but the latest filings gave us something much more important to talk about: texts that Meghan and Harry sent to Thomas Markle in the days leading up to their wedding. If you’ve ever paid attention to the Markle family, you know that they’re messy bitches who live for drama, so there’s a lot going on here.
On May 3rd, just over two weeks before the royal wedding, Thomas Markle was admitted to the hospital with “acute chest pains.” At the time, Meghan texted her father, saying “I’ve called and texted but haven’t heard back from you so hoping you’re okay.” Okay, supportive! Things weren’t necessarily smooth between them at this point, but it’s nice that she was concerned.
But the tone changed significantly a few days later, when Meghan and Harry learned that Thomas had posed for paparazzi photos in exchange for money. The photos, which clearly show Thomas Googling his daughter at an internet cafe, are low-key iconic. Needless to say, Meghan and Harry weren’t like, super thrilled by this discovery, considering that, according to the legal documents, Meghan had tried to get “logistics and supplies for her father discretely and with privacy, with care taken not to feed the press” and had told him “that he should keep a low profile until the wedding.” Oops!
Then, on May 14th, things took another turn when Thomas Markle said publicly that he would not be able to attend the wedding. Not only was this five days before the wedding, which is definitely not proper etiquette, but he didn’t even tell Meghan and Harry directly. Harry’s texts to Thomas upon finding out are really a sight to behold:
“Tom, it’s Harry and I’m going to call you right now. Please pick up, thank you.”
“Tom, Harry again! Really need to speak to u. U do not need to apologize, we understand the circumstances but ‘going public’ will only make the situation worse. If u love Meg and want to make it right please call me as there are two other options which don’t involve u having to speak to the media, who incidentally created this whole situation. So please call me so I can explain. Meg and I are not angry, we just need to speak to u. Thanks”
“Oh any speaking to the press WILL backfire, trust me Tom. Only we can help u, as we have been trying from day 1”
Okay, a few things. First of all, obsessed with Harry’s use of “u” throughout the texts. We love a royal who loves texting lingo! I also love that Harry introduces himself twice, as if the texts aren’t coming from the same number like, five minutes apart. Don’t worry Harry, I’m pretty sure Thomas knows exactly who it is. But most of all, I love that you can feel Harry’s anger spiraling out of control as the texts go on. Like, when he says “Meg and I are not angry,” don’t let that fool you—he and Meg are ABSOLUTELY angry. And then the way he finishes it off with a casual threat? Iconic, truly.
After that drama, things just got more bizarre the next day. TMZ reported that Thomas had suffered a heart attack, and once again, the tabloids knew before Meghan. Reportedly, Thomas then texted Meghan, and she responded, reminding her father that he’s basically been ghosting her this whole time: “I’ve been reaching out to you all weekend but you’re not taking any of our calls or replying to any texts…”
But to her credit, it actually seems like she was doing everything she could to help her father, even though he wasn’t cooperating at all. She texted him “Very concerned about your health and safety and have taken every measure to protect you but not sure what more we can do if you don’t respond…Do you need help? Can we send the security team down again? I’m very sorry to hear you’re in the hospital but need you to please get in touch with us… What hospital are you at?”
And then, later that day, she said “Harry and I made a decision earlier today and are dispatching the same security guys you turned away this weekend to be a presence on the ground to make sure you’re safe… they will be there at your disposal as soon as you need them. Please please call as soon as you can… all of this is incredibly concerning but your health is most important.”
That’s the last of the texts in the documents, so it’s unclear what happened after that. No matter how you feel about Meghan Markle in general, it seems like she was doing her best to get through to her nightmare of a father. Also, let’s not forget that this was all going down just days before her wedding, so I’m sure she had like, a million other things to be worrying about. So yeah, I can see why she would be hurt when, a few months later, her dad leaked a private letter to some rando tabloid that probably hates her. I get mad when my mom talks about me to her friends, so I can’t even imagine.
This week, Meghan and Harry also sent a letter to the major British tabloids, vowing never to collaborate with or speak to them, so it looks like they’re really focused on tidying up their image and quelling rumors. I’m sure the tabloids still won’t leave them alone, but maybe they’ll chill out a little bit. But even if nothing is going on, there’s clearly still plenty of old drama to talk about.
Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage
It’s been almost four months since the royal wedding, and I’ll be honest, I miss it. From approximately February through May, a solid 50% of my mental energy was devoted to Meghan Markle, and I was loving every scrap of news about her and her crazy family. Well, Meghan has settled nicely into her new life as the Duchess of Sussex, but her American family is no less batsh*t. In case you haven’t been keeping up with the Markles (E! Network, please get on this), here’s your much-needed update on what Samantha and Thomas have been up to lately.
The first bit of major drama involves Meghan’s time on Suits. I’m still obsessed with the fact the the former star of a USA show is literally a princess, so sign me up. Recently, Wendell Pierce, who played Meghan’s dad on the show, publicly slammed Meghan’s real dad, Thomas Markle, for the negative things he’s said about Meghan. Basically, Thomas is a messy b*tch who lives for drama, even if it means throwing his daughter under the bus. Wendell, who actually seems like he would be a good dad, told The Daily Telegraph “If you love your daughter, just love your daughter. It’s not for public consumption.” Shots fired.
Lucky for us, the Markle family is way too desperate to just let something like this go. Samantha, Meghan’s half sister, hit back at Wendell Pierce on Twitter, saying that his advice is “like a television president telling the White House what to do.” Ooh, sick burn. In the past, this might have been a solid analogy, but at this point I would really kill for Robin Wright or Julia Louis-Dreyfus to get in there and take control. Claire Underwood is the only one who can save us now.
I’m also a big fan of the random quotation marks around “stop sucking” in the second tweet. Not only is Samantha Markle a crappy sister, but she apparently is not so hot at English grammar. I’m not even going to pretend to be surprised.
And, because one questionable White House metaphor is never enough, Samantha had to try another one. In some more unhinged tweets, Sammy Markle fully compared Meghan to Donald Trump:
“Trump said he ‘could shoot someone and still get votes’…The ‘ant line mentality’ is the same here. Stop being gullible. Smiles and waves are a smokescreen.”
What??? Everyone is entitled to their own opinions about Meghan Markle and whether she’s a nice girl or whatever, but this really seems like a stretch. Like, she’s a princess who just goes to charity events and looks pretty in tasteful dresses, not a political leader with worse judgment than drunk me at 3AM. I won’t pretend to know what goes down between Meghan and her family behind closed doors, but Samantha’s tweets are desperate AF.
The one good thing in all of this is that, apparently, Queen Elizabeth has been super supportive of Meghan during the drama with her family. Understandably, Meghan is stressed about the situation, and at this point it’s unclear if it’s even worth reaching out to her dad. But an “Us Weekly Buckingham Palace source” (seriously, who are these people??) said “what may surprise some is just how supportive Her Majesty has been during the problems Meghan has faced with her family. Meghan is in a tough place, and the queen knows it’s completely out of Meghan’s hands. She has only sympathy for what’s been a difficult and distressing situation for her.” Wow, this seems like major growth, considering that a few hundred years ago, they probably would’ve just beheaded Meghan and started over.
The source says that Meghan is worried that if she did reach out to her father, he would just record their conversation and sell it to the press. This is obviously very cynical, but she’s not wrong. Thomas Markle has proven time and time again to be completely shameless when it comes to exploiting his daughter for fame, so he would definitely have TMZ listening on the phone in the next room.
My personal favorite piece in all of this drama is Samantha Markle’s reality TV debut that never actually happened. Way back in July, it was reported that she would be a contestant on the new season of Celebrity Big Brother in the UK. The new season was allegedly going to feature lots of stars that had been embroiled in controversy, and Sammy Markle seemed like a big get. My all-time fave Stormy Daniels was also set to appear. I was actually pretty excited to see them on the show, but then…they weren’t on it.
Two days after the season premiered, Samantha took to Twitter to clear things up (sort of):
Again, grammar is not her strong suit. I do really love that someone called her out, considering that she had been tweeting about being on TV for the previous weeks. I’m really just dying to know what this “I other opportunity” is, because I still haven’t gotten sick of Samantha Markle content. Luckily, she’s apparently working on a memoir, with the working title The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister. This sounds like a children’s book that teaches you how to share, and I can’t f*cking wait to preorder it. God bless this mess of a family.
Images: @SammyMarkle64 / Twitter (2); Giphy
Meghan Markle’s family tree is more twisted than a CW TV show family’s, and Bart Bass faked his own death so that’s saying something. From backstabbing and tell-all books to an altercation at gunpoint, this family is seriously ready for its prime time miniseries. Luckily, we never leave you in the dark after an especially complicated Bachelor episode, and we would never leave you confused before the royal wedding either. Welcome to our recap of all the Markle family drama, just in time for the only TV event we’re more excited for than the premiere of Bachelor in Paradise.
Dad – Thomas Markle Senior
Like most of you, Meghan has a tense relationship with her dad. Although reports that Meghan and her father were formerly estranged have been contested by the family, Harry has not yet met Thomas Sr., which is a red flag for a father-daughter relationship if I’ve ever seen one. So, the plan was to meet your daughter’s royal fiancé at the wedding? Can’t believe that didn’t go off without a hitch!
Before we dive into the various wedding scandals involving Thomas Markle, let’s start with a little background. Like many betches, Meghan has divorced parents. Thomas and Meghan’s mom Doria Ragland divorced when Meghan was 6 years old, and Thomas now lives in Mexico. He has two children from a prior marriage who, like all royal step-siblings, turn out to be basically evil. More on that in a minute. Throughout Meghan’s childhood Thomas worked in TV including appearances on Married with Children and General Hospital. He actually won a daytime Emmy, so one for you Thomas Markle! You go Thomas Markle!
Thomas Markle has changed his mind on whether he is attending this wedding more times than Trump talking about Stormy Daniels. Kensington Palace initially stated that he would be attending and walking Meghan down the aisle. Soon after, incredibly meme-able paparazzi photos of Thomas prepping for the wedding by working out, googling Meghan and Harry, and reading a photo book about England started surfacing in British tabloids. Because all good things are a lie in 2018, these photos were fake news. Thomas admitted to TMZ that he staged the photos with paparazzi for money. Very mature fatherly behavior.
Feeling guilty about using his daughter’s impending nuptials to make extra cash, Thomas then told TMZ that he would not be attending the wedding in order to avoid embarrassing Meghan further and because he was also dealing with health issues. Like all governments these days, Kensington Palace apparently gets their news via social media and was reportedly “blindsided” by TMZ tweeting this news. Meghan herself was apparently distraught, probably because she would rather not be walked down the aisle by a random elderly duke or whoever, and apparently asked Thomas to come anyway. On Tuesday, he briefly claimed that he would try to come if his doctors would allow it, before reneging yet again and confirming that he would not be attending as he is being treated for a recent heart attack. It’s unclear who will be walking Meghan down the aisle, but the BBC literally thinks it might be her dog. Sounds…ruff.
Half Sister – Samantha Grant
Samantha has been talking shit about Meghan to the press since Harry and Meghan’s relationship first became public. Apparently, the half sisters have not seen each other since 2008 (despite Samantha’s claims that she “raised Meghan from when she was 12”) and she was not invited to the wedding. But don’t feel too bad for her. Sam will be following in the hallowed family tradition of attempting to profit off Meghan’s life by traveling to London anyway to comment on the wedding for British morning shows.
Samantha’s aggressively rude comments to the press include calling Meghan a “social climber” and criticizing Prince Harry for saying the royals could be the family Meghan did not grow up with. Samantha has also been complaining about Meghan attempting to silence her petty ass. She told TMZ that she would definitely not be shutting up, saying “there’s something in this country called freedom of speech. She doesn’t have the copyright on that.” I don’t think that is how copyright works, but ok. Oh, and she is reportedly writing a tell-all memoir about being Meghan’s sister called The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister, which I can only imagine is a shit-talking manifesto.
Also, this bitch claims she was the mastermind behind the Thomas Markle meme-gate. She tweeted that working with the paparazzi to stage photos was her idea. Like most bizarre and unhinged individuals in 2018, Samantha is based in Florida.
Half Brother – Thomas Markle Jr.
Meghan’s other half sibling might be even worse than Samantha, though I honestly feel like I’m being forced to choose my favorite Gossip Girl villain at this point. Thomas is also reportedly somewhat estranged from his half sister, and has not seen her since 2011. The fact that he clearly barely knows her has not stopped him from writing multiple sad, handwritten letters to InTouch talking shit about Meghan.
He literally addressed one letter to Prince Harry, urging him to call off the wedding, writing “it’s not too late,” “Meghan is obviously not the right woman for you,” and “she is acting phony.” In another, he wrote directly to Meghan and begged for an invite, while also claiming he loved her. Sorry, but telling someone’s fiancé they are making the “biggest mistake in royal wedding history” is probably not the best way to get invited to their wedding. Unsurprisingly, Thomas is not invited and will be joining his sister Samantha in London as a morning news commentator.
Markle’s brother writes letter telling Prince Harry to call off their wedding
In the letter shared with In Touch Weekly, Thomas, from Oregon, writes:
Dear Prince Harry,
It’s not too late, Meghan Markle is obviously not the right woman for you.
As more time passes to your r… pic.twitter.com/cFXdYxCITo
— JAIYEORIE (@jaiyeorienews) May 10, 2018
Thomas is also involved in the only actual criminal drama in this family (yet). He was arrested in 2017 for putting a gun to his girlfriend’s head, only to blame it on his drinking and promise he would get sober. Sorry, but I have blacked out more times than I can count without holding anyone up at gunpoint. It’s not that hard.
To top all this off, Thomas Markle Sr. claims that Jr.’s InTouch letter triggered his heart attack. Honestly, at this point, same.
Random Nephew – Tyler Dooley
Thomas Jr.’s son Tyler seemed to have some delusional idea that he could get invited to the wedding despite his father’s indiscretions, and recently appeared on a British talk show claiming he and his brother might still get an invite. Like all Markle relatives, he too apparently sees Meghan’s life as a business opportunity, and is growing an honorary strain of cannabis for the occasion called “Markle’s Sparkle.” I can’t make this shit up.
Mom – Doria Ragland
I know you probably feel like you needed an Adderall to keep track of all the scandals in this article, but congratulations, you made it to the end! As a reward, I give you one Markle family member that doesn’t seem horrible. Meghan’s mom, Doria Ragland, actually seems incredible. She is a social worker at a nonprofit mental health clinic in Los Angeles, and teaches yoga on the side. Also, she is the only family member who has actually met Prince Harry, and he says she’s amazing.
With three days until the Royal Wedding, anything could happen in this family. For Megan’s sake, I hope she has access to Xanax in Kensington Palace.
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