Thomas Markle 'lied, hung up on' Prince Harry amid staged pap pics drama

Thomas Markle revealed that he lied to Prince Harry and hung up on him (Splash/Getty)

Meghan Markle’s father has admitted to lying to Prince Harry about a series of staged photos in the lead up to the Duke and Duchess’s 2018 wedding.

Thomas Markle, 75, said he had told his future son-in-law that the pap shots - which showed him running up a hill lifting weights and getting measured for a wedding suit - had not been deliberately set up.

But in the Channel 5 documentary Thomas Markle: My Story, Thomas - who believes his daughter will never see him again - admitted he was paid for the photos after he was painted as a “dumb, fat slob” by the media.

He told the documentary: “I got approached by a guy who spoke to me and said, ‘I can change your image’.

“The idea was that these would all be candid shots, discreet, no one would know they were posed or anything.

“But he keeps saying, ‘You’ve got to trust me. I’ve done this a hundred times.’”

After Prince Harry, 35, phoned Thomas to question him about whether he set up the photos, the former Hollywood lighting director added: “I denied it. And of course, that was a lie. I lied to him. I’m not proud of that, but I did.”

The pictures were published in the run up to Harry and Meghan's wedding (AP)

Thomas admitted the deal would “haunt me for the rest of my life”, and spoke of how he hung up on Harry when he called to tell him off for setting it up.

He recalled: “Harry said to me, 'If you had listened to me, this wouldn't have happened to you'. 

“I said to him, ‘It's too bad I didn't die because then you guys could pretend you were sad,' and then I hung up on them. I was done.”

Mr Markle told Prince Harry that the photos were not staged (AP)

Despite his regrets of setting up the photos, Thomas went on to say he would continue to cash in on his Duchess daughter, 38, telling her that it was “time to look after daddy”.

He said: “I’m going to defend myself and I’m going to be paid for it. I don’t care.

“At this point, they owe me. The royals owe me. Harry owes me, Meghan owes me. What I’ve been through I should be rewarded for…

“I’m in my senior years now - it’s time to look after daddy.”

Despite his admissions in the documentary, Thomas said he wanted the documentary to show he is “not all the trashy things” being said about him.

Earlier this month, it was revealed that Thomas may testify against his daughter in the Duke and Duchess’s upcoming legal case against UK paper, Mail on Sunday.

Additional reporting by Andy Wells.

Got a story tip or just want to get in touch? Email us at lifestyle.tips@verizonmedia.com