Meghan Markle's father will no longer attend the royal wedding this weekend, where he was set to walk his daughter down the aisle, according to a new report. The change comes amid a brewing scandal and news that he secretly suffered a heart attack last week.
But it appears Thomas Markle Sr.'s health wasn't the overriding factor in his decision to skip the nuptials. Instead, according to TMZ, it's over the fallout from reportedly selling photos of himself to a paparazzi agency.
In recent weeks, Thomas has been snapped by a paparazzi photographer prepping for the wedding in various ways. He was pictured doing everything from being measured for a suit by a purported tailor to lifting weights while walking outdoors to reading a story about his daughter and Harry on a computer at an internet cafe.
The whole thing was allegedly set up for financial gain, The MailOnline reported, adding that Thomas stood to make more than $100,000 from the pictures, although he says the number was far south of that.
Thomas' daughter Samantha has taken the blame for the staged pics.
TMZ reportedly spoke to Thomas who told them he didn't strike up the deal primary with money on his mind. The 73-year-old should he thought the photos would help "recast" his image in the public eye, but he now admits the pictures "stupid and hammy."
Thomas said he's been offered up to $100,000 to do interviews about Meghan ever since she started dating Prince Harry, but he's turned down all of them. This time, though, he felt as though no harm could come from a few photos.
He "now deeply regrets" the agreement with the paparazzi agency, TMZ says.
To complicate matters, Thomas said he suffered a heart attack six days ago but checked himself out of the hospital so he could attend the wedding. Now, though, it seems that he'll stay on the sidelines when Meghan formally becomes a royal.