Meghan Markle’s father is “deeply embarrassed” by his alleged participation in a paparazzi picture scam, friends and family say, as his son said the 73-year-old had been “ground down” by months of harassment by photographers.
Kensington Palace had issued a stern warning to journalists to respect Meghan’s dad’s privacy just days before the Daily Mail published CCTV footage showing Mr. Markle helping set up the apparently candid pictures of himself getting measured for a wedding suit, reading a guide to England and checking out news stories about Harry and his daughter on the web.
The Daily Beast understands there is no suggestion that changes be made to plans for Thomas Markle Sr. to give away Meghan, 36, at her wedding to Prince Harry, 33, on Saturday, despite his collaboration with U.S.-based paparazzo Jeff Rayner.
Thomas Markle Jr.—who has hardly been a rock of support for his sister and is not invited to Saturday’s wedding—told the Mirror: “People are quick to judge but they have no idea how much scrutiny we live under.
“Ever since Meg’s relationship with Harry was made public two years ago we have lived our once normal lives under the spotlight every second. Nobody can understand what it is like opening your curtains in a morning and being watched by these paparazzi to going to bed at night and still seeing them there.
“If it is anything like what it has been for me, Dad will have been ground down.”
Another friend told the Mirror: “Tom now feels like a complete fool. He’s telling friends he feels scammed by those who did the pictures but more worryingly he now has to face the Queen and the rest of the Royal Family.
“He’ll hate the fact that people think he has betrayed them and he’ll be fearful what they think.”
The friend has also claimed Thomas would not have been paid much for the snaps, despite estimates the pictures may have sold for as much as $100,000, and would at most have “received peanuts.”
The pal said: “For months he kept on being offered the chance to make ‘big money’. They were relentless in their pursuit.”