Meghan Markle’s half-sister Samantha Markle is speaking out in the wake of news her father Thomas Markle will no longer attend his daughter’s royal wedding to Prince Harry on Saturday.
Samantha told U.K. morning show Good Morning Britain early Tuesday, “I spoke to him [Thomas] early in the morning yesterday and he was quite depressed over an unbelievable series of events involving the media.”
On Monday, Meghan and Harry’s office at Kensington Palace issued a statement underlining that her father’s vow not to come over to the U.K. was a “deeply personal moment” for the 36-year-old.
Thomas reportedly said he had suffered a heart attack. He was due to walk his daughter down the aisle at St. George’s Chapel.
“She and Prince Harry ask again for understanding and respect to be extended to Mr Markle in this difficult situation,” the palace’s statement said.
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Samantha also told Good Morning Britain of her father, “I hope so [that he will attend]. And as far as whether or not he had a heart attack, people have had heart attacks they didn’t know they’d had until they had an EKG. They’re not always that loud. They’re not always that dramatic. For him that was the case.”
“He was given the option in Mexico to fly him to L.A., he was afraid that the media would find out,” she added. “They stabilized him enough that he said, ‘Let me give it a day I’m going to go and get checked.’ He did the best he could under the circumstances for being in Mexico.”
Samantha and her brother Thomas Jr., Meghan’s half-brother, will not be at the wedding, and a source tells PEOPLE that Meghan has no relationship with her half-siblings.
Samantha explained on Tuesday morning of her father’s current status, “He was really having heart pains and suffered a heart attack. It was an unbelievable amount of stress – by his report they were stabilizing him. I think he wants to go to the hospital and get checked out. I don’t know as of today what his plans are, but there’s a very real concern, I wanted to see him go [to the wedding], I didn’t want him deprived of that. But clearly the priority should be whether or not it’s safe for him to do that. That’s where we’re at.”