THE Markle family has been thrust into the international spotlight thanks to actress Meghan’s wedding to Prince Harry.
Here’s what you need to know about Thomas Markle Jr, the half-brother of the Suits star who was accused of putting a gun to his girlfriend’s head during a row last year – and who’s fiancee has now been arrested after a “domestic violence call”….
Thomas Markle Jr was arrested in January after allegedly holding a gun to his girlfriend’s head[/caption]
Who is Thomas Markle Jr?
Thomas Markle Jr, 51, shares the same father as Suits actress Meghan, who is married to Prince Harry.
It’s been reported that he’s close to his half-sister but friends have disputed this, saying they have not spoken for some time.
When Meghan Markle was born in 1981, Thomas Jr was living with his father, sister Samantha Grant, and step-mother Doria, Meghan’s mum.
He lives in Grant’s Pass, Oregon, and works as a window fitter.
Thomas Jr was married for 11 years to Tracy Dooley, with whom he has two sons – Thomas and Tyler.
His ex-wife, Tracy, said he has alcohol issues.
Why was Thomas Markle Jr arrested?
He was arrested on January 12, 2017, in Oregon for allegedly holding a gun to a woman’s head during a drunken argument.
He was later charged with menacing, pointing a firearm at another person and unlawful use of a weapon.
According to court documents, he pointed the gun at girlfriend Darlene Blount in an attempt to get her to leave.
He has since apologised and said he is “seeking help”.
Why was his fiancee Darlene Blount arrested?
She was reportedly bailed on Saturday after a night at Josephine County Jail.
A source told MailOnline: “Last night there was a domestic violence call at the home of Thomas Markle [Jr] and Darlene Blount. Darlene was arrested on assault charges.”
In January she was booked for the same charge after a boozy fight with Thomas.
Did he attend Meghan’s wedding to Prince Harry?
Thomas Jr was not invited to the wedding, which took place on May 19 at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.
His sister Samantha Grant also failed to get an invitation to the eagerly anticipated ceremony.
Father-of-two Thomas told the Mirror: “I’m not bitter, just baffled. It’s hurtful given how close we once were.
“I’m confused and a little distraught because here is a person knowing the position she’s in and knowing the scrutiny she’s under and yet she has forgotten her flesh and blood.”
Both Meghan’s half-siblings, Thomas Jr and Samantha, had given interviews to US mag In Touch earlier this year.
Thomas Jr is said to have labelled comments his half-sister allegedly made as “harsh” and “a slap in the face”, as well as publishing what he claims to be correspondence between his lawyer and Meghan’s.
In May 2018, he wrote an explosive open letter telling Meghan to call off the upcoming nuptials, blasting it as a “fake fairy tale”.
However, he reportedly later backtracked on the letter, which he said was written in a “moment of madness”.
Thomas Jr told The Mirror that Meghan is “the best thing to happen to the royals” and would be “the perfect modern happiness”, wishing his half-sister every happiness ahead of her big day.
MORE ON THE ROYAL WEDDING
Who walked Meghan down the aisle at the royal wedding?
There was intense speculation over who would walk Meghan down the aisle, with her father, both her parents and even Prince William touted as potential candidates.
Her father Thomas Markle was set to walk her down the aisle but a saga unfolded after he admitted he was paid to pose for paparazzi pictures sold to news outlets worldwide.
The 73-year-old initially pulled out, before stating his desire to attend. He eventually conceded he could not attend due to heart surgery.
Instead, Prince Charles took the new Duchess of Sussex down the aisle.