Meghan Markle's father, Thomas Markle, has reportedly decided not to attend his daughter's wedding to Prince Harry this weekend after all. Thomas spoke with TMZ, telling the outlet that he made the decision after news broke this past weekend that he had staged and been paid for paparazzi photos of himself in the months leading up to the ceremony. He admitted to TMZ that the photos looked "stupid and hammy," and that he now regrets his choice to go into business with the paparazzi agency.
Thomas also revealed to the outlet that he suffered a heart attack last week, but that his health isn't the reason he's backing out of the wedding; rather, he doesn't want to cause any further embarrassment for his daughter or the royal family.
On Sunday, the Daily Mail published security video footage that appears to show Thomas, 73, teaming up with paparazzo Jeff Rayner to stage a series of photos showing Thomas getting ready for the royal wedding in various locations around Rosarito, Mexico, where he currently lives. The photos, all of which made headlines in recent months, show Thomas getting measured for a suit by a "tailor" — actually an employee at a party goods shop next door to the tailor, per the Daily Mail — reading a book about British landmarks while sitting in Starbucks, and looking at photos of his daughter and her fiancé on a computer at an internet café. Though the Daily Mail estimated that Thomas could have taken in around £100,000 (about $136,000) for the photos, he told TMZ that he was actually paid much less, though he declined to provide an actual figure.
With just five days to go until the royal wedding, the question now is who will walk Markle down the aisle. Earlier this month, the palace confirmed via press release that Thomas would take the traditional role of escorting his daughter down the aisle at St. George's Chapel and would also arrive to London early to meet with Harry's family, including the queen. Perhaps Markle's mother, Doria Ragland, will take his place instead — as was rumored in the weeks after Meghan and Harry first announced their engagement.