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Less than one day after revealing to TMZ that he will not be attending his daughter Meghan Markle’s royal wedding to prevent her any further embarrassment, Thomas Markle spoke to the outlet again and told them that he plans to check himself back into the hospital because he’s experiencing serious chest pains from the emotional fallout. He attributed some of the stress to Meghan’s half-sister Samantha Grant, who has been attacking Meghan’s reputation non-stop to media outlets since Meghan’s engagement was announced. “I’ve been popping Valium for the pain, especially when I hear about my oldest daughter,” he told TMZ.

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Samantha most recently took credit for the paparazzi photo staging scandal that created this last-minute drama. (E! pointed out that Kensington Palace issued a stern directive to media outlets, asking them to respect Thomas’ privacy—which explains why there has been little to no coverage of him.) “As we know the media can take very unflattering photographs of people on their casual days and blow it way out of proportion,” she explained on Loose Woman (via E!). “I said, ‘You know, the world has no idea you’re getting in shape, doing healthy things. They don’t photograph you buying vegetables and PH water. They photograph you as unflattering ways as they can. I said, ‘Really, you need to show the world that you’re getting in shape and doing great healthy things.’ So, I suggested it.”

Thomas suffered a heart attack last week, he previously told TMZ; that was his second coronary. He had checked himself out of the hospital so he could go to England and give Meghan away for her wedding. He told TMZ that he has not heard from Meghan since TMZ ran its first report that he wasn’t going to the wedding. Thomas recommended that his ex-wife and Megan’s mother, Doria Ragland, who’s already in London, walk Meghan down the aisle.

Meanwhile, a Palace source told TMZ that Meghan, Harry, and everyone there was blindsided by the news. They had made “elaborate plans” for him that “included a security detail for Thomas Markle, along with accommodations and access to various events.” A source connected to Meghan told TMZ that yes, her mother is the new frontrunner to walk Meghan down the aisle, and no, she and Samantha are not close at all. The two have “absolutely no relationship,” and “she knows nothing about Meghan’s life.” Multiple sources warned that Samantha “is trying to take the media for a ride by planting stories with no basis in fact.”

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Another source echoed this to E!, telling the outlet that the two were 17 years apart and never raised in the same house. “This woman who she hardly knows, who has had a lifelong history of lying and manipulation is setting her sights on her for no reason,” the source said. “In their very limited contact, Meghan has never been anything but nice to her and for the majority of those interactions, Meghan was just a little girl. Meghan has never done anything to her and continues to take the high road.”

The Palace issued one statement on the situation yesterday afternoon, asking for understanding: “This is a deeply personal moment for Ms. Markle in the days before her wedding,” a spokesman said. “She and Prince Harry ask again for understanding and respect to be extended to Mr. Markle in this difficult situation.”

Royal reporters additionally report that Meghan is still trying to convince her dad to walk her down the aisle, though it’s looking increasingly unlikely. As reporter Rebecca English points out, Harry hasn’t even met Thomas. The two are “deeply concerned about Thomas Markle, who, I am told, is ‘not in a good place,'” she wrote. “There is still a chance that he could change his mind, of course, but it’s looking unlikely as it stands…”





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