Meghan Markle’s father is defending his decision to leak a personal letter she sent him last year saying he’d been moved to publish it after he felt he was being besmirched.
The duchess and her husband Prince Harry took legal action against the Mail on Sunday after it published excerpts of the private letter she sent her dad, Thomas Markle, in August 2018.
Now, the 74-year-old is saying he only leaked sections of that letter because he felt he had to.
“I decided to release parts of the letter because of the article from Meghan’s friends in People magazine,” he told the newspaper.
“I have to defend myself. I only released parts of the letter because other parts were so painful. The letter didn’t seem loving to me. I found it hurtful. When I opened the letter I was hoping it was the olive branch I’d longed for.
“I was expecting something that would be a pathway to reconciliation. Instead it was deeply hurtful. I was so devastated I couldn’t show it to anyone — and never would have, had it not been for the People magazine piece which meant I had to release portions to defend myself.”
The People article he refers to included anonymous interviews from five of Meghan’s friends, who spoke out in defense of the duchess and her highly scrutinized life, including how painful it was for her to send a father a long letter expressing her hurt and for him to write back “requesting a photo op.”
In the remarks made this weekend to Mail on Sunday, the elder Markle says his request was misunderstood by his daughter. “I don’t want a picture for any other reason than if we show harmony then the press will back off.”
“This particular legal action hinges on one incident in a long and disturbing pattern of behavior by British tabloid media,” he wrote.
“The contents of a private letter were published unlawfully in an intentionally destructive manner to manipulate you, the reader, and further the divisive agenda of the media group in question.”
While the Markles seem no closer to making amends, it is clear that Thomas Markle is not done making his case.
“I don’t recognise the person who wrote the letter but I still love my daughter,” he said.
“All it would take is one phone call and most of this craziness would stop.”
Additional reporting by Elena Sheppard.
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