The owner of a tabloid media company in Los Angeles has been granted a civil harassment restraining order against Meghan Markle‘s father.
On Tuesday, a judge in the southern California city decreed Thomas Markle must stay away from Coleman-Rayner agency head Jeff Rayner following a civil hearing. The court-ordered protection will be in place for the next two years, through September 13, 2024.
According to TMZ, Thomas was not in court for Tuesday’s hearing. However, the outlet notes that he was served with legal papers documenting the decision, so he’s apparently cognizant of where things stand. Besides, Thomas’ absence there was irrelevant to the judge, who ordered he must stay away from Rayner for the next two years regardless.
This is the culmination of a long legal battle. In it, Rayner previously claimed he felt threatened by Thomas after the contents of a recent book were released. As Perezcious readers will recall, that book — Tom Boyer‘s Revenge: Meghan, Harry, and the War Between the Windsors — alleged Thomas threatened to physically harm Rayner “with a gun” following a tabloid photo controversy. The media mogul had thereafter been concerned for his safety and, well, here we are now.
Of course, Meghan has been battling a supremely strained relationship with her father for years. It really culminated back in 2018 when the elder Markle staged paparazzi photos prior to Meghan’s wedding to Prince Harry. Thomas did not attend the wedding itself, and quickly became fully estranged from his daughter in the aftermath of the photo drama.
At the time, a source told ET that things escalated quickly between Thomas and Meghan:
“She has not spoken to her father in more than 10 weeks since her wedding and is still hurt by her father, who has both staged the photos and continues to give paid interviews. The Palace is at a loss of what to do and is reevaluating options, including a more aggressive strategy to stem the embarrassment caused by Meghan’s dad, half-sister and half-brother.”
And the rift has only continued. In an interview with The Cut last month, Meghan revealed how Harry had lamented that she “lost [her] dad in the process” of the couple’s ascent in and then exit from the monarchy.
The Suits alum offered some optimism in that chat last month, suggesting forgiveness could be on the horizon:
“I think forgiveness is really important. It takes a lot more energy to not forgive. But it takes a lot of effort to forgive. I’ve really made an active effort, especially knowing that I can say anything. … I have a lot to say until I don’t. Do you like that? Sometimes, as they say, the silent part is still part of the song.”
Still, there’s so much negative history here. And so many dramas that have played out in the public eye. It’s probably going to take a LOT, to say the very least. Any reactions to this new restraining order news, Perezcious readers?