Meghan Markle's estranged father, Thomas Markle, has accused talk show host Oprah Winfrey of exploiting his daughter and husband Prince Harry in her televised interviews with them.
"The only person benefiting from this is Oprah Winfrey," Markle said on Australian television show 60 Minutes on Sunday (June 13).
When asked if he thought the TV mogul was exploiting Meghan, 39, and Harry, 36, he replied: "Yes, I do... that's just my opinion. It seems to me she's pushing it to get more and more out of it."
Winfrey had conducted a bombshell interview with the couple in March, with revelations that rocked the royal family.
She also subsequently spoke to Harry on their new health docu-series on Apple TV+, The Me You Can't See. The issues raised in the interviews included racism in the royal family and mental health issues they had faced.
Markle, 76, who has not spoken to his daughter since two days before her wedding in 2018 after a paparazzi scandal, said: "I think Oprah Winfrey is playing Harry and Meghan.
"I think she's using them to build her network and her new shows, and I think she's taking advantage of a very weakened man and getting him to say things that you just shouldn't be saying on television."
However, his disdain of Winfrey did not stop him from driving up from Mexico, where he lives, to her home in Montecito, California, two months ago and leaving a letter requesting she grant him an interview as well.
"I left a letter for Oprah with my phone number and email and I said, 'Give me a chance to tell my story'," he said on 60 Minutes. "I said, it's not fair to tell (their) story without hearing my story. I got no response."
He added that he heard about the birth of his granddaughter Lilibet Diana on June 4 on the radio, with no phone call from Meghan. He has also never met the couple's first child, Archie, two.
"July 18, I'll be 77 years old. Most of the Markle men don't make it much past 80," said the retired Hollywood lighting director. "So there's a good chance I might never see my grandchildren. I'm not looking for pity. I'm just saying that's a reality." – The Straits Times/Asia News Network