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Meghan Markle’s Half-Brother Thomas Blames Royal Engagement for Drunken New Year’s Fight

Meghan Markle, Dog, Broken Legs, Prince Harry
Meghan Markle visits Nottingham Academy in Nottingham, England on December 1, 2017.Andy Stenning - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Meghan Markle‘s half-brother, Thomas Markle Jr., is speaking out about a drunken New Year’s brawl with his fiancée and blames the royal engagement for contributing to the fight.

Related: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Wedding: Everything We Know So Far

As previously reported, Thomas Markle’s fiancée, Darlene Blount, landed in jail and was charged with fourth-degree assault on New Year’s Day after an altercation with Thomas in Oregon.

In an interview with The Mail on Sunday, Thomas, 51, initially said that Blount hit him in the face before insisting that his injuries were self-inflicted. He bailed his fiancée out of jail, paying her $1,000 bond.

Darlene Blount, Mugshot, Josephine County Jail, Meghan Markle, Tom Markle Jr.
Darlene Blount Josephine County Jail/Backgrid

Thomas told the newspaper that he and Blount are both planning to attend alcohol and relationship counseling, but said that the stress of suddenly being in the public eye, in the wake of the Suits star’s engagement to Prince Harry, contributed to their issues.

Related: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle: A Timeline of Their Relationship

“It hasn’t been easy. Meghan’s relationship with Prince Harry has shone a spotlight on our family. It doesn’t help when you have issues and your sister is engaged to royalty. It adds a whole new level of scrutiny,” he told the paper. “We’ve been under a lot of stress because of all the attention. At some point you find yourself drinking too much to escape the pressure.”

Thomas, who has the same father as Meghan, 36, spoke with the Daily Mail last month about the royal wedding, saying he didn’t know if he’d be attending the nuptials at Windsor Castle in May.

Related: Prince Harry’s Hottest Moments!

“I don’t know if [Meghan] gets to invite who she wants,” he told the paper. “But she’ll reach out if she wants me there. She’ll call me. She knows where to find me. But that’s up to her, there’s no pressure. I wouldn’t mind seeing my little sister have the biggest wedding in the world. That would be incredible.”

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