After infamously pulling out of his daughter's wedding at the last minute due to an alleged health scare, a source has claimed that Thomas Markle Sr.'s heart attack and surgery were all a sham.
A source close to the Duchess of Sussex says that Markle Sr., 73, was never ill and faked an emergency operation as an excuse to not attend the royal wedding and garner sympathy, the Daily Mail reports.
"The whole story about Meghan's father undergoing heart surgery was made up," the source said.
"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."
During his recent bombshell interview on ITV's Good Morning Britain, the former lighting director said he was admitted to the Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center, just a few miles north of the Mexican border in Tijuana, where a stent was fitted.
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But when DailyMail.com reached out to the hospital for confirmation of his May 16th visit, the clinic replied that "no such name" had ever checked into the hospital.
The source added: "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."
"Of course Meghan is upset with him. Her father missed her wedding. He missed walking her down the isle all because of that ill-conceived publicity stunt.
"It was really just such poor judgement on his part. Now everyone's feeling sorry for him. They shouldn't. He brought this upon himself and if he were truly sick Meghan would have made an effort to visit him. Don't feel sorry for him. If anything, feel sorry for Meghan."
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The revelation comes just as Meghan's older half-sister Samantha Grant, who has defended claims that their father is, in fact, ill, lashed out on Meghan saying she will be to blame if Markle Sr dies.
The 53-year-old took aim at Meghan and Prince Harry's appearance at the Nelson Mandela centenary exhibition in London on Tuesday, tweeting: "How about you pay tribute to your own father?! Enough is enough".
"Act like a humanitarian, act like a woman," she wrote, adding: "If our father dies, it's on you Meg".
Since joining the Royal Family, Meghan has deleted all forms of social media, so it is not believed she has seen Samantha's tweets.
But that has not stopped Samantha from continuously criticising her sister on the platform.
"Glad you have so much time to gallivant around paying tribute to others while ignoring your own father!" she wrote.
"How cold can you be and look in the mirror? Harry? I guess I was right."
Just one week before the wedding, The Mail on Sunday exclusively revealed that Markle Sr. had secretly collaborated with a British paparazzi photographer to set up "candid" photos of himself preparing for the big day.
Days later, the father of three, who was set to walk Meghan down the aisle, abruptly pulled out of wedding, citing poor health.
Markle Sr. originally told TMZ that he was skipping the ceremony because he was "too embarrassed" after it was revealed that he had staged a series of pictures that were later sold to newspapers around the world.
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He was then spotted grabbing two Happy Meals from McDonald's and a chocolate milkshake and then getting dinner at KFC, two days after allegedly undergoing heart surgery.
While Markle Sr. has become distant from Meghan, he recently reunited with his estranged son Thomas Jr. for the first time since 2011, as revealed by Dailymail.com.
A source described the meeting as having gone better than expected', but will take time for a "solid reconciliation".
Samantha, a mother-of-three who is writing a book about "living in the shadows of the Duchess", took a short break from tweeting, before returning and appearing to respond to an interview her father did on Tuesday morning.
Thomas Markle told TMZ he's unfazed by reports that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are fed up with him doing paid interviews with the media, and he wouldn't stop speaking out about his daughter and the Royal Family - no matter how 'frustrated' they get.
"I was silent for a full year and the press beat me up every day saying I was a hermit hiding in Mexico, so I gave my story," he told TMZ.
This article was originally published on Daily Mail and is reproduced here with permission.