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Duchess Meghan's dad says he hung up on Prince Harry when talking about staged pics

Thomas Markle said in an interview that he initially lied to Prince Harry about staging paparazzi photos and that the two had a heated phone conversation.
/ Source: TODAY

Thomas Markle says he lied to Prince Harry about taking staged paparazzi photos ahead of the royal wedding and that he hung up on him when Harry called to chastise him over the pictures.

The father of the Duchess of Sussex told The Daily Mail on Saturday that Harry scolded him during a heated phone call saying, "If you had listened to me, this would have never happened."

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"Maybe it would be better for you guys if I was dead…then you could pretend to be sad,''' Markle said he replied on the call. "Then I hung up."

Markle, 74, did not participate in the royal wedding on May 19, announcing after the controversy with the photos that he was recovering from heart surgery in California and couldn't walk daughter Meghan Markle down the aisle.

Since the royal wedding, he has given multiple interviews lamenting the state of his relationship with his daughter, saying she has cut him out of her life. British tabloids reported last week that the Duchess of Sussex is planning a secret solo visit to the U.S. to repair the relationship with her father.

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The photos, which he admitted were staged, showed him being fitted for a suit for the wedding. He said he lied to Prince Harry about the pictures, saying he was being "fitted for a hoodie" instead.

The angry phone call with Harry came while he was recovering in the hospital, which he called "rude" timing.

Markle claims Harry warned him about speaking out in the media ahead of the wedding, but that the prince was right to criticize Markle for his actions.

"Harry told me that I should never go to the press,'' he said. "That it would end in tears. He said, 'They will eat you alive.' He was right."

Markle also expressed his shock at being told by his daughter that he would not be allowed to give a speech at the wedding.

He also claimed this would be his final interview.

"I'm not mad at Harry,'' Markle said. "I'm not mad at Meghan. I love them. I wish them well. But as for the rest of it, f--- it. I'm done."

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Follow writer Scott Stump on Twitter.