The estranged father of the Duchess of Sussex has admitted to flogging staged photos ahead of his daughter's marriage to Prince Harry - and reportedly still takes a cut from profits of their sale over two years on from the Sussexes' November 2017 wedding.
According to a tabloid report, Thomas Markle, 75, reveals he did indeed carve out a deal with a paparazzi photographer during a new Channel 5 documentary set to air tonight.
Among the shots that made the press that are believed to have been set up are images of Thomas attending a suit fitting and thumbing through a book about the UK while relaxing in a cafe.
Mirror Online claims the documentary suggests the pics were sold for as much as $100,000 to publication around the world - and landed Thomas with 30% of the sales cash.
The news outlet quotes Meghan's dad as revealing during Thomas Markle: My Story that he receives a royalty every time the photos are used by newspapers, magazines and websites.
Thomas reportedly admits to them being a steady source of income by saying: "Absolutely. Those pictures will sell forever."
Of course that was a lie. I lied to him.
However, Thomas apparently claims his primary motivation was to repair his image in the press, rather than making money off the back of his daughter’s nuptials.Thomas recounts being approached by someone who promised to make him look "respectable" after being slammed as a 'slob' in previous press stories - including facilitating shots of Thomas lifting weights.
Nonetheless, while Thomas confesses he had doubts about some of the "hammy" set-up snaps, he admits to having "lied" to Meghan and his son-in-law to-be when quizzed by them as they were tipped off the shots were about to be published.
The Mirror reports Thomas denied posing to be measured up for a suit to Harry… but now acknowledges that was not the truth.Thomas is quoted as saying: "And of course that was a lie. I lied to him. I'm not proud of that, but I did. I didn't do it for money. I did this to change my image."
The retired TV crew worker - who was married to Meghan’s mum Doria Ragland between 1979 and 1987 - is also said to have noted he expects to be recompensed for future media interviews.
Maintaining the royal family, Harry and Meghan all 'owe him', Thomas is reported to insist: "My daughter told me that when I reach my senior years she'll take care of me. I'm in my senior years now, it's time to look after Daddy."
Thomas Markle: My Story airs on Channel 5 tonight - Wednesday January 22 - at 9pm
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