Meghan Markle's Friend Claims Thomas Markle Faked a Heart Attack to Skip Her Wedding

Another day, another drama.

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Thomas Markle is definitely not shying away from the press (opens in new tab). Right before his daughter Meghan Markle's wedding to Prince Harry (opens in new tab), it was revealed that he had staged paparazzi pictures of himself (opens in new tab), which then lead to a series of events that made him unable to attend his daughter's wedding—including a heart attack, and surgery (opens in new tab) that would prevent him from flying to the U.K.

However, a Daily Mail (opens in new tab) report that surfaced this morning claims that Thomas allegedly may not have had a heart attack in the first place (again, take this with a grain of salt—there are a lot of rumors out there). The unverified report includes a source "close to Meghan" who claims Thomas was never sick and just wanted sympathy after he staged the paparazzi photos. (Thomas has not responded to the allegations.)

"The whole story about Meghan's father undergoing heart surgery was made up," says the source. "He had to come up with a good enough reason not to attend her wedding and avoid any further embarrassment after those staged photos went public."

"The poor health story was his way of generating some compassion from the public, and taking the attention off those staged photos which were a complete embarrassment to Meghan and the royal family.'"

During one of his (many (opens in new tab)) interviews, Thomas told ITV's Good Morning Britain that he checked into the Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center—but when The Daily Mail reached out for confirmation of the visit, there was apparently nobody by that name (opens in new tab) at the medical center.

This comes a few days after Thomas told the press that Meghan "looks terrified" (opens in new tab) when she's with the royal family, and not long after her half-sister Samantha tweeted (opens in new tab) that Meghan was "ignoring" her dad. "Glad you have so much time to gallivant around paying tribute to others while ignoring your own father!" she wrote on Twitter.

Kensington Palace has maintained its silence regarding Meghan's family members' claims.

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Rachel Epstein is a former editor at Marie Claire, where she wrote and edited culture, politics, and lifestyle stories ranging from op-eds to profiles to ambitious packages. She also launched and managed the site’s virtual book club, #ReadWithMC. Offline, she’s likely watching a Heat game or finding a new coffee shop.