Meghan’s father hits out at claims he is involved in a ‘tacky’ sightseeing tour of exclusive Montecito, where his daughter and Prince Harry live
- It was reported at the weekend that Tom Markle ‘approved’ of the tour
- Markle has been left ‘deeply distressed’ at the ‘exploitative’ scheme say friends
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MEGHAN Markle’s estranged father Thomas has hit out at reports he is involved in a ‘tacky’ celebrity sightseeing tour which will take tourists past daughter Meghan’s Montecito mansion.
The £959 bus tour – advertised as a ‘Royal Celebrity Tour of Los Angeles and Montecito’ – is being offered by paparazzi photographer Karl Larsen, who once worked with Mr Markle.
But last night Mr Markle, 79, told Mail Online Royals: ‘I never gave my approval to Karl Larsen for any tour anywhere. I am not involved in any way.’
Mr Markle, who suffered a stroke last year and two heart attacks immediately before his daughter married Prince Harry in 2018, has been left ‘fuming and deeply distressed’ by claims made at the weekend.
Tom Markle, father of Meghan, has dissociated himself from claims that he is in any way involved in a Royal Celebrity Tour of Los Angeles and Montecito. He is pictured taking part in a Good Morning TV interview
The nine-bedroom Montecito mansion belonging to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. They have lived there since 2020
An aerial view of Santa Barbara and Montecito. The area is home to numerous celebrities including Ellen de Generes
Larsen was reported by The Sunday Mirror as saying that Mr Markle ‘approved’ of the tour – priced for six people – which will drive close to the Sussexes’ £11 million mansion, past Prince Harry’s polo club and point out the couple’s favourite restaurants and shops in Montecito, the Californian town they moved to in 2020 shortly after quitting as senior working Royals.
The tour would also reportedly include Meghan’s former childhood homes in Los Angeles.
A source close to Mr. Markle said: ‘The claim that somehow Tom is involved in this tacky and, frankly, exploitative tour is 100 per cent false and has left Tom angry and deeply distressed. There is no truth to any of it. He would never lend his name to something like this.
‘Tom is not close friends with Karl Larsen.’
Mr Markle briefly took part in a YouTube show with Larsen but quit the show when he felt uncomfortable with some of the comments Larsen made about the Sussexes.
‘Tom may be estranged from Meghan but he loves her and would never do anything to hurt her or place her or his grandchildren in jeopardy. He was briefly involved in a project with this person (Larsen) years ago, something he has come to regret. Tom has severed contact with this man and wants nothing to do with him personally or professionally.’
Mr. Markle’s son Tom Jr added: ‘Under no circumstances whatsoever did my father ever agree – or was even aware of – such a ridiculously cheesy and embarrassing idea of being involved in a tour bus business with Karl Larsen…who has no authorisation to use my father’s name in any ad campaign for a cheesy Hollywood tour van business. What kind of person does that?’
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex at a Women of Vision Awards ceremony in New York, earlier this year
A source said: ‘Tom estranged from Meghan but he loves her and would never do anything to hurt her’
Tom Markle, pictured taking part in a Channel 5 documentary. He has made repeated attempts to reconcile with his daughter but is yet to meet his two grandchildren, Archie and Lilibet
Critics have slammed Larsen for promoting the tour.
Tech entrepreneur Christopher Boozy called it ‘an act of targeted harassment’.
One website which advertised the tour has since removed the listing although Larsen has insisted the tour will go ahead.
The friend of Mr Markle said: ‘Tom is focusing on his health and moving on with his life. Something like this does nothing but cause him more stress and harm.’
Mr Markle has been estranged from his daughter since suffering two hearts attacks on the eve of her wedding which prevented him from traveling to the UK to walk her down the aisle.
He has made repeated attempts to reconcile with Meghan but has yet to hear from her. He has never met son-in-law Prince Harry or his two grandchildren Archie, four and two-year-old Lilibet.
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