Thomas Markle, the father of new British royal Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, has given additional details of awkward conversations with Britain's Prince Harry, his estranged son-in-law.
In an interview with the U.K. tabloid The Mail on Sunday, Markle conceded he had misled Harry after the media discovered Markle had staged paparazzi photos of himself being fitted for a wedding suit. Markle — a retired TV cinematographer and lighting director now living in Rosarito, Mexico — said he told the prince he was instead being "measured for a hoodie."
Harry, he said, had previously "told me that I should never go to the press. That it would end in tears. He said, 'They will eat you alive.' He was right." It was unclear if the prince was referring only to tabloid press or to the legitimate media as well.
Markle — who had publicly apologized for the ill-received photos, saying he had only meant to polish his image after seeing unflattering photographs published — said he also received a phone call from Harry while Markle was hospitalized and recovering from a heart attack. The prince, he said, told him, "If you had listened to me this would never have happened." Markle said he responded, "Maybe it would be better for you guys if I was dead … then you could pretend to be sad.' Then I hung up."
Markle, 74, added that he felt Harry was "absolutely right" to have admonished him. "I'm not mad at Harry," he told the paper. "I'm not mad at Meghan. I love them. I wish them well. But as for the rest of it … I'm done."
He additionally penned an essay in the newspaper to dismiss what he called fictions about him, saying he has hospital bills from the Chula Vista Medical Center to confirm that he had not faked his heart attack; that following his divorce, Meghan lived with him from age 11; that he had "never taken a penny from" his daughter; and that he has given only three interviews. "All the other stories are crafted from the three original stories and most of them are lies," he wrote.
Kensington Palace has not commented.