Not holding back on anything. Meghan Markle‘s mother, Doria Ragland, broke her silence on ex Thomas Markle‘s 2018 photo scandal.
“I felt sad that the media would run with this. That he would capitalize …,” Ragland, 66, who was married to her ex-husband from 1979 to 1987, said during Prince Harry and Meghan’s Netflix docuseries, which started streaming on Thursday, December 8. “Certainly, as a parent — that’s not what you do. That’s not parenting.”
In the third episode, the trio reflected on Thomas’ staged paparazzi photos, which took place ahead of Harry, 38, and Meghan’s May 2018 nuptials. Meghan, 41, noted that the couple initially were not aware of what was going on with her dad, 78, in Mexico.
“H and I called my dad. I said, ‘They’re saying you’re taking money from the tabloids to stage photos. Is this true?’ He says, ‘No,’” she said about the conversation. “And on that call, I’d said to him, ‘Look. If they can’t stop this story, then it’s going to come out tomorrow so why don’t we send someone right now to your house to get you out of there now because if that’s the case, your house will be swarmed by media. We’ll get you out.’”
The former actress continued: “And he said, ‘No. I have things I need to do.’ And it felt really cagey. I was like, ‘It doesn’t make sense.’ And when we hung up, I looked at H. I was like, ‘I don’t know why but I don’t believe him.’”
Meanwhile, Harry questioned Thomas’ decision, saying, “It’s amazing what people would do when offered a huge amount of money. Fifty thousand, a hundred thousand, to hand over photographs, to create a story. And thank God most of them said no.”
The Duchess of Sussex’s relationship with her father took a turn when the former director of photography’s scandal made headlines. Thomas later claimed that he had a heart attack and ultimately did not attend her wedding ceremony.
Meghan previously reflected on her strained relationship with her father. “I grieve a lot,” the mom of two explained during her CBS tell-all in March 2021. “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.”
While filming the docuseries, the California native questioned her dad’s choice to ignore her help.
“The unraveling happened that week when he wouldn’t pick up my call,” Meghan, who shares 3-year-old son Archie and 18-month-old daughter Lili with Harry, detailed. “And then, someone texted back on his phone. It was really weird. You know how people text, right? Like, you know, my dad used a lot of emojis and a lot of like, ellipses and dot-dot-dot. And this was just the opposite.”
According to Meghan, she knew something was wrong when someone reached out to her from her father’s phone. “And [the text] called me Meghan. I was like, ‘He’s never called me Meghan any day I’ve lived on this planet. Meg. All my friends call me Meg and my parents call me Meg,” she shared with the cameras. “And I was like, ‘That’s not my dad.’ So then, we knew that his phone had been compromised. And we said, ‘Pick up the phone. We need to know it’s you.’ Never spoke to him.”
Harry said he “shouldered” the rift between Meghan and Thomas, adding on Thursday, “Of course, it’s incredibly sad what happened. She had a father before this. And now she doesn’t have a father. Because if Meg wasn’t with me, then her dad would still be her dad.”