Meghan Markle‘s father, Thomas Markle, was rushed to a hospital following a “possible stroke,” according to TMZ.
Thomas, 77, was photographed receiving attention from paramedics in an ambulance with an oxygen mask strapped to his face. TMZ reported on Tuesday, May 24, that Thomas was transported from Tijuana, Mexico, to a nearby hospital in Chula Vista, California, after fearing for his health. He reportedly could not speak and was told to write his symptoms down instead.
The retired lighting director missed the 40-year-old Suits‘ alum’s May 2018 royal wedding to Prince Harry after telling TMZ that he had a heart attack and required surgery. The father-daughter duo have been estranged ever since he was caught staging paparazzi photos before the Sussexes exchanged vows in London.
In March 2021, Thomas opened up about the last time he spoke to Harry, 37, referring back to his prior health issues. “The last time we spoke — actually, we didn’t speak, we actually texted each other — I was laying in a hospital bed after having a heart attack,” he claimed on Good Morning Britain at the time. “I had to tell them that I couldn’t come to the wedding [in May 2018]. At that point, we had pretty much said goodbye.”
The Daytime Emmy winner proceeded to flip the script on his own story, clarifying that he abruptly ended a phone call with his now-son-in-law without giving the couple well-wishes for their wedding day. “Harry had said to me at that point, ‘If you had listened to me, this wouldn’t have happened to you,'” Thomas alleged. “And me, laying in a hospital bed after I’ve had a procedure and getting a stent put here and a stent put here, felt that that was kind of snotty, so I hung up on him. And that’s the last conversation we ever had.”
At the time, Thomas argued that he apologized to Meghan and Harry “at least 100 times or so” for the photo scandal, claiming he “never heard back” from either of them “in any way, shape or form.”
Thomas’ comments came shortly after the Bench author discussed her strained relationship with her family members in her bombshell CBS tell-all. The interview aired weeks after Buckingham Palace confirmed Meghan and Harry would not return as working members of the royal family following their step down from their senior roles one year prior.
“I grieve a lot,” the Tig founder mused during the March 2021 sit-down. “I mean, I’ve lost my father. I lost a baby. I nearly lost my name. I mean, there’s the loss of identity. But I’m still standing, and my hope for people in the takeaway from this is to know that there’s another side.”
In a bonus clip from the CBS interview, Meghan claimed the U.K. tabloids were attempting to “find my dad” and offer him money “for over a year” as she prepared to join the royal family. She remembered confronting Thomas about the situation, but said he “wasn’t able” to tell her the truth about what happened.
“That, for me, has really resonated, especially now as a mother,” the former actress said at the time. “And also me saying just full stop, ‘If we use this to protect you, we won’t be able to protect our own children one day,’ well, I’m talking about your grandchildren. … I genuinely can’t imagine doing anything to intentionally cause pain to my child. I can’t imagine it. So it’s hard for me to reconcile that.”
Meghan and Harry are the parents of son Archie, 3, and daughter Lilibet, 11 months. Last year, Thomas told Fox News that he has yet to meet his grandchildren — and revealed he wanted to petition the courts in California for visitation rights. However, celebrity divorce attorney Mark Goss told Us in July 2021 that Thomas is unlikely to be successful in his attempt.
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“With no relationship established between Mr. Markle and his grandchildren, there is no path that any court would give him for visitation,” Goss explained, adding that the decision “has to be in the best interest of the children to have a relationship with the grandparent.”
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